Man stopped from horse­back es­cape

The Northland Age - - Local News - By Peter de Graaf

One of two Far North men ar­rested in re­la­tion to a gun­point rob­bery at Waipapa Su­perette tried to es­cape on horse­back be­fore po­lice man­aged to catch him.

The al­leged of­fend­ers, aged 21 and 22, were ar­rested af­ter po­lice searched homes at Okai­hau and nearby Rahiri Set­tle­ment yes­ter­day morn­ing.

De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Rhys John­ston, of Mid North po­lice, said the man lo­cated at Rahiri Set­tle­ment jumped on a horse and tried to flee.

“How­ever, a cou­ple of our of­fi­cers are ex­pe­ri­enced ru­ral peo­ple and had no prob­lems ap­pre­hend­ing and con­trol­ling the equine es­capee.”

The men had been charged with a va­ri­ety of of­fences in­clud­ing ag­gra­vated rob­bery. Po­lice be­lieved they were also in­volved in a re­cent spate of car thefts and bur­glar­ies.

They are due in the Kaikohe Dis­trict Court to­day.

The Waipapa Su­perette rob­bery oc­curred about 4.30pm on Novem­ber 10 when two men en­tered the store armed with a ri­fle or air gun and a ham­mer. At the time po­lice said one of­fender “waved his ri­fle up and down the aisle” while the other emp­tied the Lotto till, jumped the counter and emp­tied the cig­a­rette cab­i­net. They also stole SPCA and Kid­ney Kids char­ity boxes.

The pair fled north on State High­way 10 in a car stolen ear­lier from a locked garage in Okai­hau and later found aban­doned on Puketi Rd.

The of­fend­ers had their faces cov­ered but a man wear­ing the same cloth­ing and driv­ing the same car was cap­tured on ser­vice sta­tion CCTV in Whanga¯rei ear­lier that day.

Also yes­ter­day, po­lice ar­rested a 16-year-old Okai­hau youth for al­legedly act­ing as the get­away driver for the armed rob­bery of Okai­hau Liquor Store in Septem­ber. He faces other bur­glary and ve­hi­cle-re­lated charges and will ap­pear in Kaikohe Youth Court to­day. One of the other two ar­restees was found hid­ing un­der a couch while the other “tried to se­crete him­self in bushes”.

John­ston said the ar­rests were the re­sult of weeks of in­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“It’s great to see all th­ese crimes solved and the al­leged of­fend­ers lo­cated. Both of th­ese armed rob­beries were ex­tremely dan­ger­ous events, putting peo­ple’s lives at risks.”

The ar­rests were fur­ther ex­am­ples of great work by North­land po­lice and showed their com­mit­ment to find­ing those be­hind of­fend­ing. “Our mes­sage to any of­fend­ers is clear — we will do ev­ery­thing we can to hold you to ac­count over your ac­tions.”

PIC­TURE / SUPPLIED

Two men from the Okai­hau area have been ar­rested in re­la­tion to the Novem­ber 10 gun­point rob­bery of Waipapa Su­perette.

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