Wanted gang mem­ber found in ranges

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

A high- rank­ing Waikato gang mem­ber who spent months on the run from po­lice has been ar­rested af­ter he was found armed at a prop­erty in the Kaimai Range, po­lice say.

The 44-year-old ap­peared in the Hamil­ton Dis­trict Court on April 10 charged with rob­bery, kid­nap­ping and un­law­ful pos­ses­sion of a firearm af­ter tips from the public led to his ar­rest.

Waikato po­lice dis­trict crime manager De­tec­tive Karl Thorn­ton said Waikato, Ro­torua and Auck­land armed of­fend­ers squads found the man at a ru­ral prop­erty off State High­way 29 in the ranges south of Tau­ranga on Thurs­day night.

‘‘ This man, who is the al­leged pres­i­dent of the Rogue chap­ter of the Mon­grel Mob gang, had been the sub­ject of a num­ber of warn­ings to the public in re­la­tion to his of­fend­ing and the risks he posed,’’ Thorn­ton said.

‘‘ Those in­volved in the ar­rest had no doubt of the risks they were fac­ing when the man was ar­rested in pos­ses­sion of a loaded firearm and il­licit drugs.’’

The man was wanted by po­lice for al­leged crimes in­clud­ing kid­nap­ping and ag­gra­vated rob­bery dat­ing back to Au­gust last year.

Po­lice ear­lier said the man had gone to ‘‘ex­tra­or­di­nary lengths’’ to avoid ar­rest.

Armed po­lice last month used tear gas to clear a prop­erty in Mata­mata in search of the man af­ter at­tempts to coax the res­i­dents an­swered.

Although the man was not found in the home, po­lice found a hid­den cav­ity in­side a wardrobe equipped with a po­lice scan­ner, Thorn­ton said. He said or­gan­ised crim­i­nal groups, such as gangs, too of­ten tried to in­tim­i­date ar­eas by ‘‘pres­ence of num­bers’’.

‘‘But by util­is­ing a wholeof- polic­ing ap­proach, the forces of good can ap­ply greater num­bers than those prey­ing on vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties.’’

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Thank you for your let­ter. Lifebuoy’s po­ten­tial 0800 num­ber is still in the dis­cus­sion phase, so at this stage the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle isn’t able to pro­vide this. How­ever,

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