Owners bust renters making drugs
Drug makers have allegedly been busted brewing P at a holiday home they booked through an online holiday rentals site.
Police are warning bach owners to be careful with wouldbe mid-winter holidaymakers turning drug cooks after the owners of the idyllic rural cottage, 10 minutes’ drive from Hobbiton, caught them in the act.
Eastern Waikato police manager of criminal investigations, Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Ambler, said the property off State Highway 29 at Te Poi was booked for a short-term stay through an online rental site.
He could not say exactly how long the booking was made for but the owners of the home, who live locally, became wary of the activity and decided to stop by the property.
‘‘When they turned up there they saw what they believed to be a laboratory for cooking methamphetamine in the garage and alerted police to that.
‘‘They have stumbled onto something quite organised.’’
Electrical cords leading to the garage - which the renters weren’t meant to be using - raised suspicions, one of the owners said.
The man, who did not give his name, said other family members manage the cottage as a means to supplement their farming income.
‘‘It’s given them a hell of a fright,’’ he said.
‘‘They’re going to have to be very, very selective now.’’
A manager spotted the cords when she called in to see if the new guests had arrived overnight, he said.
Other family members arrived, asked what the renters were doing, and were allegedly told they were fixing a motorbike. That didn’t wash. The managers first planned to corral the renters until police arrived, but the renters allegedly threatened to ram the managers with their vehicles.
There didn’t appear to be damage to the cottage, the man said, and the family is hoping they caught the renters before they started cooking the drugs.
Police said they advised the owners to back out of the prop- erty, but said there was a confrontation with two men and a woman.
The three then jumped into three separate vehicles and left the property, Ambler said.
Responding officers spotted one of the cars and a chase began but officers lost sight of the vehicle, which headed over the Kaimai Ranges towards Tauranga.
Police tracked one of the men who had fled the holiday home on a motorcycle.
Ambler said the man was arrested and taken into custody.