Ham­mer-car­ry­ing man as­saults shop worker

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NICOLA STE­WART nicola.ste­wart@wrcn.co.nz

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.

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