Police keen to return mail stolen by real-life Christmas Grinch

Could the Grinch be real? Someone has been raiding letterboxes up the east coast, from Whangārei to Mangōnui, in the lead-up to Christamas. Photo / NZME

Northland police are trying to track down the rightful owners of about 200 items recovered when they busted an alleged mail thief.

The items were taken from letterboxes all the way up the east coast from Whangārei to Mangōnui with many likely to have been intended as Christmas presents, making the alleged thefts the work of a real-life Christmas Grinch.

Constable Dave Reynolds, of Mangōnui police, is in charge of returning the online purchases to their proper owners. The packaging and addresses had been removed and disposed of so it was proving a challenge, he said.

He urged anyone who was missing a parcel that should have been delivered in the targeted area between December 1 and 15, to email him at david.reynolds@police.govt.nz with a detailed description of the item.


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Many of the items were distinctive so would be easily identified by their owners.

They included wetsuits, cellphone cases, clothing, tools, toiletries, novelty items and more. Many had been ordered from Shein, an online store based in China.

Reynolds said he had managed to return about 15 items so far.

“But I really want them all to go back to the rightful owners,” he said.


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■ A 49-year-old Far North man has been charged with multiple counts of theft. He is being held in custody and is due back in court on Tuesday.

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