|Photo credit: AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Brett Phibbs|
Unfortunately for one New Zealand thief, he even picked the wrong target: 'someone who owns billboards all around the city.'
The burglar who stole expensive equipment from a billboard in Auckland has become the subject of giant 'Wanted' posters after the company that owns them obtained a photograph of the crime.
The man's photograph was plastered on several billboards around New Zealand's largest city after he was snapped by a suspicious onlooker, stealing the transformers one Sunday in October.
The photographer knew the pillaged sign belonged to Mark Venter, who runs OTW Advertising, one of New Zealand's oldest billboard companies.
So when the photographer offered pictures of the thief in action it cost Venter nothing to mount the images on four city billboards with the inscription: 'Who is this Thief? Reward $500.'
Venter said after having lost a few things to thieves, he was pleased in 'knowing I had a photo and I could identify the theft with the bugger who stole it.'
He said the billboard campaign to catch the man had produced an amazing community response as his cellphone had been running hot with calls since the photograph was posted six days ago, though most were calls supporting his campaign rather than offering information on the crime.
Sergeant Roy Simpson said several calls to police and to Venter had named the same man as the possible thief, and that person was being sought by police.
However, Venter noted the burglar had one piece of good luck as he said: "If he had tried stealing the transformers at night 'when they have 50,000 volts going through them - he'd be dead."
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