Hammer-carrying man assaults shop worker
A man carrying a hammer assaulted a female staff member at Challenge Matamata on Saturday, before demanding cash and fleeing in a stolen car.
The alleged offender, a 32-yearold Morrinsville man, jumped the counter just before midday with a t-shirt covering his face.
Police said the man demanded cash and cigarettes then ran to his car, stopping to rob a customer of his wallet as he came out of the bathroom.
The man had earlier that day approached an 80-year-old man on Studholme St in Morrinsville and demanded his car keys, snatching them and injuring him when he refused. He then drove tim’s car to Matamata.
Sergeant Graham McGurk said a member of the public tried to follow the man as he fled the service station robbery, but lost him a short time later.
Police were setting up cordons in the greater Matamata Piako area, when a Matamata unit spotted the stolen car on State Highway 26, heading toward Morrinsville.
They started a pursuit but lost sight of the car.
The man was later arrested in Morrinsville, after a police officer saw him walking through a park. He had changed his clothing. The stolen car had been crashed into a post and was found abandoned.