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Car stolen, used in three different crimes, victim says

A man who had his car involved in three different crimes last year says he is still waiting to hear from the authorities.

The robbers left in a white Subaru Legacy, pictured.
Ben Oren said his Subaru Legacy, similar to the one shown here that was used to rob a superette in 2017, was taken last year. Photo: NZ Police

Ben Oren said he parked his Subaru Legacy on a well-known street side in Ponsonby on the day it was taken, but did not find it the way he left it.

"When I returned to my car, I realised the driver door looked a bit odd, and had been unlocked - I assume this is how they got in.

"They had ripped out the ignition - clearly attempting to hotwire the car and drive off with it, but obviously failing to get it started, as it was still there. I called the police and reported it before speaking with my insurance".

The car was towed to a repair shop. But a few days later, Oren got a phone call from police saying his car was stolen from there.

"They said my car had been stolen and used as part of a ram-raid shop robbery. They told me that the people responsible were still on the loose, but would keep me updated with developments.

"A few weeks on I received a call from the police saying they'd caught the 13 and 14-year-olds responsible for the crime, and asked me whether I want to have a say in the prosecution process. I didn't feel like I'd add anything to the case and also I didn't want to prosecute such young people, I had faith that the authorities would sort out suitable justice. I have since heard that they have been taken to court, but since then haven't heard a thing".

Ben Oren's car was used in three crimes in Auckland.
Ben Oren. Photo: RNZ / Rayssa Almeida

The age of those responsible for stealing Oren's car is not likely to be a surprise for the authorities. Police figures show 88 percent of offenders that lead ram-raids are under 17 years old.

According to Auckland police, 283 ram-raids were carried out nationwide in the year to October 2021 - a rise on the previous year.

More of the offenders are not identified by the authorities.

"I felt like I was the little guy in all this, and the only real victim to the crime, but I was not being heard.

"It is not only about the financial side of it, but my life was very dependent on having a car. It made for a very awkward time without a car that I'm so reliant on," he said.

Police said the investigation into what happened to Oren's car was ongoing, one person was still due to appear in Youth Court.