Wanted gang member found in ranges
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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