Heroic duo catch offender
Two men who chased down a robber after he held up a shop owner with a knife have been recognised with a bravery award.
Timothy Christopher, 24, was walking home from university on July 1 when he noticed a commotion.
A shopkeeper in the Auckland suburb of Grafton had been held up by a knife-wielding man demanding cigarettes.
Timothy saw the offender run out of the store and began chasing him as he ran towards the Auckland Domain.
He managed to grab a backpack the offender was carrying and opened it to find a kitchen knife and two packs of cigarettes.
‘‘I’m glad I got the bag off him … that knife didn’t look very friendly,’’ Christopher said.
Thialgo Dias Da Rocha was sitting in his car at the traffic lights when he noticed what was going on and decided to join the chase.
The 30-year-old painter managed to catch up with the offender before tackling him to the ground.
A struggle ensued and Dias Da Rocha was stabbed in the hand with a screwdriver.
Despite the injuries to his finger, Dias Da Rocha held the man down until police arrived and arrested him.
Christopher and Dias Da Rocha were reunited at the Auckland Police medal and awards ceremony at Eden Park on Friday.
Both men received a loud applause and certificates of appreciation as their story was read out to the crowd.
Dias Da Rocha, who moved to New Zealand from Brazil two years ago, said he never expected to receive recognition by police for his actions.
Senior Constable Karl Pennington’s nickname around the Auckland dog base is a ‘‘magnet for trouble’’.
It’s a fitting nickname for the dog handler who has received a police bravery award for his role in tracking down and arresting violent offender George Whichman, a wanted man with connections to the Killer Beez.
Pennington, who has worked for the police for 20 years, said it was great to be recognised for his work. His police dog, Iso, also received a ribbon.
‘‘You do a lot of stuff and you don’t often get thanked for it but when you do get thanked you’re quite pleased with that.’’
Timothy Christopher and Thiago Dias Da Rocha were recognised for their efforts stopping an armed robber.