Auckland crime: Suspected scooter thief caught on North Shore busway

Auckland police chased a suspected scooter thief on foot after he tried to escape along the Northern Busway.

Police were monitoring security cameras at the Albany bus station on Monday when they spotted a man hanging around the bike racks.

“A man was seen acting suspiciously around the cycle racks after 11.30am, when he began attempting to steal an electric scooter locked there,” Waitematā East youth and communities manager Senior Sergeant CJ Miles said in a statement.

“Their attempts were in vain because the owner had used a high-quality lock.”

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Police then alerted the Auckland Transport Operations Center (ATOC) about the incident and tracked the man from the bike racks to a bus heading south along the busway.

He got off at the Constellation station before trying his luck again, this time cutting a lock and removing an electric scooter.

The police then contacted the Joint Transportation Operations Center, which observed on camera how the alleged thief walked away along the Northern Highway itself.

“Our personnel soon arrived on scene and pursued the man on foot before he was successfully detained in the bus lane,” Miles said.

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The alleged thief was captured on foot.  Photos / Michael Craig,123rf
The alleged thief was captured on foot. Photos / Michael Craig,123rf

Police said the 39-year-old man appeared in North Shore District Court yesterday charged with robbery and will reappear next month.

Miles said police had been responding to a recent increase in incidents at some bus stations, including the theft of valuable bicycles and electric scooters.

“Police are providing greater visibility and taking the opportunity to engage with travelers,” he said.

“Our aim is to disrupt these opportunistic criminals and provide peace of mind to the public while using the public transport network.

“In most cases, victims secure their bike or scooter, but unfortunately they are not usually the best type of chains or locks used, making them easier to cut,” Miles said.

“As with the first incident in Albany yesterday, we encourage travelers to ensure they use a sturdy lock.

“The last thing anyone wants is to have their transportation stolen.”