Eastern Suburbs Shoplifters Arrested in Operation Light Fingers

Operation Light Fingers, involving officers from the Maroubra Police Station in the Eastern Suburbs, the City of Sydney, and the police area commands in Leichhardt and Sutherland, has led to the arrest of 155 individuals for shoplifting. 

Among the arrested and taken to the Maroubra Police Station were a 41-year-old woman who stole $ 1,100 worth of beauty products and a 27-year-old man who stole baby formula amounting to $1,200. Both individuals targeted stores in Eastgarden and have been refused bail. The arrested man had two other outstanding warrants for shoplifting as well.

According to NSW Police, Operation Light Fingers was a three-day operation led by the Central Metropolitan High Visibility Policing (HVP) Unit, with support from the other police networks. The arrests were conducted from the 8th to the 10th of December 2022.

As of press time, 98 of the 155 individuals have been charged whilst 97 received criminal infringement notices. More operations of similar nature are expected to continue during the Christmas season. However, according to the NSW Crime Tool, incidents of theft in Maroubra and Eastgardens have been stable between October 2021 to September 2022. 

Operation Light Fingers Maroubra
Photo Credit: NSW Crime Tool

It comes as the Eastern Beaches Police Area Command recently conducted a community engagement with the IWA Maroubra Community Group. The session tackled steps on how to report a crime to the police. 

Maroubra Granted Priority Access to Pfizer for 16 to 49 Following Superspreader Event

Some parts of the Eastern Suburbs have been given priority access to the Pfizer vaccine for eligible individuals between the ages of 16 to 49 years old, following a superspreader event in Maroubra.

Health officials have grown concerned after a Maroubra party with about 60 guests on 14 Aug resulted in 20 positive cases who infected 61 more close contacts. To prevent a COVID-19 hotspot, NSW’s vaccine program has put Maroubra as a priority, as well as these Randwick local government areas: Chifley, Clovelly, Coogee, Kensington, Kingsford, La Perouse-Phillip Bay, Little Bay, Malabar, Matraville, Randwick, South Coogee.

Camden LGA and Bayside LGA are also on priority.

“We know there are several hundred thousand people in these LGAs who are unvaccinated in this age group, and this is a great opportunity for them to come forward and get their jab,” NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce said.  

Beginning Monday, 31 Aug 2021, Randwick City Council has urged all eligible residents to book a vaccination slot as a priority pop-up vaccination hub has been set up in Novotel Hotel at the corner of Grand Parade and Princess Street. 

NSW has been administering 127,530 doses of Pfizer a week and will have more supplies by October 2021. 

Meanwhile, the NSW Police announced the formation of Strike Force Travelstop, which will investigate the superspreader event in Maroubra. 

“Each of these people who are going to these functions must understand that they run the risk of either having the virus and transmitting it or getting the virus and taking it home to their families and their communities,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. 

“There is no time now to be selfish – it’s time to think of the broader community and your families. If you are actually spreading the virus, you could be responsible for peoples’ deaths.” 

Aggressive contact tracing has taken place since the event but fines have not yet been issued by the authorities amidst the investigation.