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Man arrested after crypto robberies in Wellington New World car parks

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Victims organised to meet an individual in person at New World car parks in Wellington to exchange cash for cryptocurrency.

A man has been arrested over two cryptocurrency deals which have turned into aggravated robberies in broad daylight.

In both incidents, victims have used the social media platform Discord to arrange to meet an individual in person at different New World car parks in Wellington to exchange cash for cryptocurrency

The first incident happened in the underground car park of the New World supermarket in Newlands about 5.30pm on February 29.

Police allege the offender arrived in a silver Subaru Legacy, got into the victim’s car and took a large amount of cash, before returning to their station wagon and driving off.

The second incident happened in the car park of New World Chaffers in central Wellington about 1pm on March 5.

The victim was invited into the Subaru where one person took the cash and a second person was seen pointing a firearm at the victim.

The victim was then ordered out of the vehicle before the offenders drove away.

Yesterday police searched a Strathmore property and recovered the Subaru and an imitation firearm.

Today they confirmed a 32-year-old man has been arrested and is due to appear in the Wellington District Court tomorrow.

He is facing two charges of aggravated robbery after police searched a property on Hopper St today.

However, Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch said police still want to speak to two other men in relation to these incidents.

One of the men who police want to speak to in relation to the incidents. Photo / NZ Police
One of the men who police want to speak to in relation to the incidents. Photo / NZ Police

One of the men police wish to speak to. Photo / NZ Police
One of the men police wish to speak to. Photo / NZ Police

These men may have information that can help police with their investigation, he said.

Leitch asked anyone who recognised them to contact the police.

”The robberies have been very upsetting for the victims, as they were committed in busy public places in broad daylight.”

Anyone who has been the victim of similar offending relating to cryptocurrency or has information that can help police should contact 105, quoting file number 210305/3355.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

Georgina Campbell is a Wellington-based reporter who has a particular interest in local government, transport, and seismic issues. She joined the Herald in 2019 after working as a broadcast journalist.



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