Bro, where’s my car: 97 Jucy rentals stolen on Anzac weekend

Brazen theft of Jucy rental cars in New Zealand comes to sticky end for 29 thieves

Jucy theft New Zealand

Spare a thought for our Kiwi cousins, who have just emerged blinking into the daylight after a five-week level-four COVID-19 lockdown.

However, it seems not all New Zealanders heeded the stay-at-home order, to the detriment of one Kiwi car rental firm.

On the Anzac Day weekend, thieves targeted a storage yard used by rental mob Jucy, clocking the fact that hundreds of vehicles had been stashed in the wake of the collapse of tourism in New Zealand, which was one of the first countries in the world to impose a 14-day self-isolation period on travellers arriving from overseas.

Our callow cads snipped their way through a wire fence, lifted a gate from its hinges and simply drove away in one of the vehicles.

And they repeated the act another 96 times.

Before you suggest that stealing a highly visible bright green and purple camper van is a pretty dumb idea even for a car thief, it’s been revealed that most of the cars stolen were, in fact, un-liveried vehicles used by the company in other capacities.

Operation De-Jucy in fact only came to light as New Zealand police – covering a much quieter network around New Zealand’s biggest city – started pulling over speeding drivers in Jucy-owned cars.

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The theft – which included Mazda 3s, Holden Captivas and Suzuki Swifts – was then reported to the owners of the company.

The CEO of Jucy, Tim Alpe, told the New Zealand Herald he was shocked by the magnitude of the theft.

"We're a big operation, but it's just devastating right now, when tourism's just been decimated," Alpe said. "To have to go through this as well is just horrific."

However, the long arm of the Kiwi law has been swift to act – and the fact that the general populace was locked away at home helped.

After some cars started to appear on Facebook Marketplace for sale at ludicrously low prices, police moved in and arrested 29 people, recovering 85 cars in the process.

“There has been some damage to vehicles, but most have been recovered in good condition,” said Counties Manukau West Area Police Commander Matt Srhoj, who also reminded the good citizens of Auckland South that if something appears for sale that looks too good to be true, then it usually is. “Receiving stolen goods is also a crime,” he added.

Here's hoping the idea of a trans-Tasman tourism bubble comes off, and we can all do our bit for tourism on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

 NOW READ This is Larry Perkins' custom-made Unimog campervan


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