Police find bullets on Marine Parade
A missing police rifle magazine and bullets have been found in Napier.
Acting Area Commander Hawke’s Bay Inspector Matt Broderick, said the magazine that was reported lost last week following the execution of a search warrant in Napier had been located by police ‘‘and early indications are that it has not been tampered with’’.
The magazine was located on Marine Parade on Thursday.
‘‘While an internal review of the incident is ongoing, Police are not in the position to comment any further,’’ Broderick said.
The magazine and ammunition was lost on Wednesday morning after an officer left it on top of a police car following a search of an address on Trinity Crescent.
Earlier on Thursday residents of the normally quiet area were mildly alarmed that officers had lost the magazine and bullets.
The father of the man believed to be the focus of the search, said he arrived home to find his front door had been smashed open. His son was not home at the time and he did not know his whereabouts.
‘‘The neighbours said there was quite a few of them with guns and everything. It all seemed a bit extreme,’’ said the man, who did not want to be named.
He wasn’t aware of the missing magazine and bullets, but said they could be anywhere between his house and the Hastings police station some 17km away.
‘‘Someone will have them. It could have stayed on top of the car for a while,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t know why they thought they needed guns. They were just looking for a few stolen products. They didn’t find anything because none of it was here,’’ he said.
A neighbour across the road said he saw about seven cars and numerous officers turn up at the house about mid-morning.
‘‘I just came into the house from out the back and there were cops everywhere,’’ said the man, who also did not want to be named.
He wasn’t too worried. ‘‘Someone would have to have the gun to fire them. How many guys would have a Bushmaster rifle?’’
Broderick said ‘‘an officer inadvertently placed the rifle magazine on the roof of his patrol car and drove towards Hastings’’.
‘‘The error is regrettable and should not have occurred,’’ Broderick said.
NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark said the incident showed the Police Association was wrong to target legal firearm owners while wanting to arm ‘‘all’’ police.
‘‘If this was a private firearms licence holder, they’d be going through the wringer about now,’’ he said.
Police asked for public help to find the missing M4 Bushmaster rifle magazine.