Home LATEST-NEWS Burglars in Auckland steal crucial part of vaccine freezer

Burglars in Auckland steal crucial part of vaccine freezer

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A component for the storage of Covid-19 vaccines has been stolen from an industrial complex in Auckland.

CCTV footage shows two thieves breaking into the complex in the early hours of Saturday morning and stealing a custom copper heat exchanger needed to complete a -80C vaccine freezer room under construction.

The thieves broke open a gate to the Penrose complex around 3:30 am to gain access to the property in a silver sedan with stolen number plates.

The heat exchanger was kept in a crate, bolted to the floor, which the thieves broke open and loaded into their vehicle.

The space, consisting of eight doors, is large enough to store more than five million Covid-19 vaccines at -80C.

“This vaccine room is a much larger capacity room destined for overseas use, and has been on standby to be completed if needed for use in NZ,” the complex’s director told the Herald.

The custom-designed heat exchanger is worth about $5,000, but the complex fears it will be taken to a scrap yard to sell.

“The thieves could only use it as scrap because it is of no use to anyone but us,” said the director.

He said it would take about three months to build a new heat exchanger.

“We really can’t afford to lose project time and money on these thieves.”

In a statement, police said they received a report at 3:30 a.m. of a break-in at a commercial building in Onehunga.

The information was reviewed.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

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