‘Bad Santa’ charged over alleged car theft conspiracy, NSW

Three people have been charged over their alleged roles in the conspiracy to defraud an insurance company after a Mercedes was stolen near Redfern.

About 6pm on Saturday 8 December 2018, a 32-year-old woman parked a Mercedes C63 sedan at an underground carpark on Defries Avenue, Zetland.

The woman reported the car as stolen after she returned to the carpark the next day, and the vehicle was gone.

Officers from Redfern Police Area Command commenced an investigation under Strike Force Dhoti.

Following a media appeal, strike force investigators executed a search warrant at a garage in Kogarah, where they seized a green Mercedes sedan about 4pm yesterday (Tuesday 29 January 2019).

The vehicle will undergo forensic examination.

A 54-year-old man was arrested at Redfern Police Station yesterday, where he was charged with face disguised with intent to commit indictable offence, enter building with intent to commit indictable offence, and dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

Yesterday’s arrest follows the arrests of a 32-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man at Redfern Police Station on Thursday 24 January 2019.

Both were charged with dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

Police will allege in court that the two arranged for the 54-year-old man to dress in a Santa costume and steal the Mercedes sedan from the car park before they attempted to claim the theft against their insurance.

The 54-year-old man was refused bail and is due to appear at Central Local Court today (Wednesday 30 January 2019).

The 32-year-old woman and 35-year-old man were granted strict conditional bail and are due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Monday 18 February 2019.

Investigations under Strike Force Dhoti continue.

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