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Police understand that Rae Portman purchased a silver coloured 1999 VW Passat registration CQH76 for $2000.00 between 10 and 14 June 2012. She used the car for personal use, however never changed the ownership of the vehicle to her name.
Detective Inspector Mark Gutry said, “On 19 June 2012 Rae took her VW Passat to a Hamilton workshop for a warrant of fitness. The car failed on a number of issues including worn tyres, worn seat belts, broken headlights and a worn steering wheel component.”
At 15.00 on 20 June 2012, Rae drove the car to a friend in Auckland for him to repair. From that evening onwards Rae has not made contact with any family members, close friends or accessed her bank accounts.
“As the public are aware Rae was reported missing on 2 July 2012 by her mother Rebecca Norton. Rae’s friends used facebook to discuss her disappearance and to alert people that she was missing.
“On 3 July Rae’s friend who was fixing her car sent a public facebook message disclosing that he still had Rae’s vehicle. And that he wanted to return it to Rae’s family,” said Mr Gutry.
A short time after that a female associate of Rae’s made contact with Rae’s friend who was fixing the vehicle and made arrangements to pick it up on behalf of the Portman family.
The associate drove the car to her Auckland home. On 17 July she changed the ownership of the VW Passat to her own name and traded it for $1000.00 at a car dealership at Western Springs, Auckland.
Police interviewed the defendant on 5 September and she explained she didn’t have permission from Rae Portman or her family to collect the vehicle.
The offender appeared in the Auckland District Court this morning and has been remanded until 20 November 2012 for a status hearing.
Reparation was sought from the Court for $2000 for the vehicle and is to be paid to Rebecca Norton, Rae Portman's mother.