Cit­i­zens nab thieves

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page -

A group of teenagers rob­bing a Firth St dairy on Satur­day got an un­ex­pected sur­prise when two men took chase.

Po­lice are com­mend­ing the ac­tions of these two men whose in­ter­ven­tion led to the ar­rest of the four of­fend­ers at about 5.30pm.

Mata­mata Po­lice Sergeant Gra­ham Mcgurk said he was thrilled with the ef­forts of the lo­cals.

‘‘While a driver and front seat pas­sen­ger re­mained wait­ing in a car parked around the corner, two males aged 16 and 17 years old walked into the shop and con­fronted the owner armed with a wrench dis­guised as a firearm,’’ he said.

‘‘The owner ac­ti­vated an alarm and fled the store. Both of­fend­ers then tried to force the till be­fore flee­ing the shop with cig­a­rettes. A neigh­bour saw the two of­fend­ers run­ning away and, see­ing their weapon was not ac­tu­ally a firearm, gave chase.’’

Mr Mcgurk said a mo­torist saw the chase.

Hav­ing seen the car parked around the corner and think­ing it ap­peared sus­pi­cious the driver po­si­tioned his ve­hi­cle to pre­vent the of­fend­ers get­ting into the car, forc­ing them to con­tinue run­ning down the street.

‘‘The man then blocked the get­away car while the two rob­bers ran into the grounds of Mata­mata

pass­ing Col­lege. The pair were chased through the school grounds and back on to the main road by Bed­ford Park and just man­aged to get into the car ahead of their pur­suers but a reg­is­tra­tion num­ber was ob­tained that was passed on to re­spond­ing po­lice.’’

The of­fend­ers drove off at speed head­ing north on State High­way 27 but were soon lo­cated.

‘‘The driver re­fused to stop and fled at speed trav­el­ling about 42km all the while throw­ing cloth­ing and items taken in the rob­bery out of the car while a rear pas­sen­ger at­tempted to get po­lice to back off by point­ing his im­i­ta­tion firearm-come wrench out the win­dow.

‘‘The car was stopped near Pioneer Rd and the four oc­cu­pants, one 16 and two 17-year-old males and a 16- year- old fe­male were ar­rested and charged with ag­gra­vated rob­bery.’’

Mr Mcgurk said the driver also faces fur­ther charges of reck­less driv­ing, fail­ing to stop and driv­ing while sus­pended and all four were to ap­pear in Hamil­ton Youth Court to­day.

‘‘While we urge peo­ple not to place them­selves at risk these peo­ple were able to re­lay cru­cial in­for­ma­tion such as a de­scrip­tion, the car’s reg­is­tra­tion num­ber and type of weapon in a timely man­ner en­abling us to make a quick ar­rest.’’

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