Drug makers target chemists
Every week the South Waikato News delves into its archives to see what was making the news 10, 25 and 50 years ago. This week we found stories on drug buyers targeting the district, police defusing gang tensions and a constable taking on a bank thief.
10 years ago Drug buyers target dis
trict December 18, 2002 Out of towners on drug buying trips are targeting South Waikato chemists for their ingredients.
The recent police crackdown on pseudoephedrine shoppers in Hamilton has seen the network move further afield and as far as the South Island.
An ingredient in hayfever tablets, pseudoephedrine is used for making the party drug speed.
Putaruru pharmacist Richard Heslop said he’d had a number of customers wanting to buy hayfever tablets.
‘‘We have had people driv- ing through Putaruru who are part of an organised network,’’ Mr Heslop said.
‘‘They find out which chemists are a ‘soft touch’ and then tell others.
In some cases to avoid suspicion ‘little old ladies’ are being used to buy the tablets and were making lots of money in the process, he said.
Purchasing pseudoephedrine tablets over the counter had become more difficult however, with the buyer having to produce photo identification and their vehicle registration and details faxed to police.
Mr Heslop, who is the New Zealand Pharmacy Guild president, said this move had seen a downturn in the trade, however, pharmacy wholesale distributors had become a target for burglars and chemist shop workers were on-selling the tablets.
Mr Heslop said he preferred to keep minimal stocks in his store and only sold to people he knew.
Although this disadvantaged genuine buyers, he felt this was the best way to stop drug buyers from returning.
25 years ago Gang friction is defused
July 21, 1987 Police have moved to defuse a growing rift between gang factions at Tokoroa.
They executed search warrants at two houses last weekend and made a total of three arrests – including two relating to possession of an offensive weapon.
The raids were carried out on Stanley Street and Baird Road.
One contains the headquarters of the Mangu Kaha gang, the other the house of its leader.
The Rotorua Team Police Unit and the Armed Offenders Squad were brought to the South Waikato for the exercise, the second raid on gang headquarters in as many weekends.
being arrested for being armed with criminal intent after they were found in a car in the drive way of the Stanley Street house, allegedly in possession of a loaded fire arm and a pistol.
A third man was arrested in Baird Road and charged with possessing cannabis for supply.
Police opposed bail for all three men when they appeared in court at Rotorua on Saturday.
50 years ago Constable displayed exceptional zeal and cour
age June 7, 1962 An armed man entered the Bank of New South Wales, Tokoroa on February 13 and held up the staff.
As he was leaving the building he was tackled by Constable D M Lye of Tokoroa.
Constable Lye was unarmed at the time.
Last week, he was presented with the Certificate of Merit by Chief Inspector W Ritchie, officer in charge of the Hamilton Police District.
The citation read, ‘‘For displaying exceptional zeal and courage in apprehending a criminal in the act of committing an armed hold-up of the Bank of New South Wales, Tokoroa.
Constable Lye’s determination and courage was in accord with the high traditions of the police.
TARGETED: Putaruru chemist Richard Heslop with one type of the highly sought after hayfever tablets.