Po­lice find bul­lets on Marine Pa­rade

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - MARTY SHARPE

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.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

Po­lice asked for pub­lic help to find the miss­ing M4 Bush­mas­ter ri­fle mag­a­zine.

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