These number plates were cut up by a gang of car thieves in 2008 and 2009 to try to hide the identity of the Toyota Hiace vans they had stolen. Police suspicions were raised when the recovery rate for this car model dropped to 40% – a normal rate is 70%. They launched Operation Beryl, which revealed a gang of car thieves was targeting these vehicles and chopping them up for parts. These were then shipped to the Middle East where parts for such vans were in demand. The outer shells of the vehicles were sold to South Auckland wreckers' yards. 12 offenders were arrested, and 127 vehicles were identified as having been stolen by the gang.
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New Zealand Police - Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa
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