Three prisoners are on the run after escaping from the Wellington District Court early this morning.
Detective Senior Sergeant Shane Cotter, Wellington CIB, says police are appealing for public help in finding the trio who were in the custody of Department of Corrections staff when the break-out happened about 7.45am.
"We believe the three inmates, all remand prisoners, created a diversion and while the Corrections officers' attention was elsewhere, kicked their way out through an internal door and fled the Court buildings, probably into Ballance Street," he says.
The three men were all wearing prison clothing - navy blue and grey crew neck sweat shirts with Rimutaka Prison written on the back, and navy blue track pants.
The men are:
â€¢ Lance Roy Seymore Ludwig, formerly of Wellington, a male Caucasian, 31 years, short blond hair (crew cut), blue eyes, fair complexion, moustache and goatee beard, 178cm tall, of medium build with tattoos around his neck and arms.
â€¢ Daniel Minogue, formerly of Taupo, a male Maori, 23 years, long black hair, brown eyes, copper complexion, moustache and goatee beard, 180cm tall, thin build. He has tattoos of a tui bird and a Maori design on his upper right arm.
â€¢ Sonny Pritchard, formerly of Auckland, a male Caucasian, 29 years, short brown hair (crew cut), hazel eyes, olive complexion, moustache and goatee beard, 172cm tall, thin build, with tattoos on his face, neck, arms, hands and chest.
Police are appealing for sightings of the men, and from people who were in the District Court, Lambton Quay and Ballance Street area at the time of the escape.
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"The escape happened when there would have been quite a few people in the area heading to work, especially pedestrians coming from bus stops and the railway station," Detective Senior Sergeant Cotter says.
"If anyone saw men fitting the descriptions, or people acting suspiciously in the area, then please contact police immediately."