16 Mar 2018

Student advisor helps catch alleged thief: 'It was all by chance'

11:19 am on 16 March 2018

A quick thinking student advisor in Auckland helped apprehend an alleged thief after they reportedly stole items from an international student and extorted money from him.

Stock photo

Stock photo Photo: 123RF

The student, who has been in the country for 18 months and was from India, had his house burgled in Papatoetoe on Monday.

His flatmate's phone was also stolen, and when the number was called a man claimed he had bought their belongings and would sell it back to them for a fee.

Meeting the man at Glen Innes McDonald's the student recorded the man, but he made off with $400 before police could arrive.

He was still yet to have his backpack and laptop returned.

The man then called the student on Wednesday demanding more money, which is where Student Advisor Chanelle Kerr from MAINZ stepped in.

"We decided to make a meet up place," she said.

She said they tried to stall the man until a police unit became available but when the man then started to leave she decided to follow him.

That's when she saw a police car and jumped out in front of it.

"These lovely two cops who were from out west had no idea what I was ranting on about when I waved them down," she said.

A police spokesperson said they received a report at 2pm yesterday that a man who had stolen from a student was trying to arrange a meeting to sell the property back to him.

"Police attended and arrested the man," they said.

Ms Kerr said the student's backpack was found in a nearby green bin.

"It transpired after they took the student for a statement, they gave him the backpack back and there was just a tile in there pretending to be a laptop," she said.

She said it wasn't until after this all happened that it sunk in what she had done.

"It was such a good outcome and it was all by chance," she said.

She said the student was most concerned about getting his assessments back rather than the laptop.