Thursday, 25 August 2005 - 12:00pm |

Fifth person charged with relation to black Mazda pursuits

2 min read

Christchurch Police assisted by West Coast police, yesterday located and charged a fifth offender in relation to the pursuit and burglary `spree' by the occupants of a black Mazda car on Friday and Saturday.

Detective Sergeant Gary Hay says that the 19 year old male was located in Westport and apprehended by Christchurch CIB staff with the assistance of Greymouth CIB. He appeared in the Greymouth District Court this morning on four charges including failing to stop, burglary, and driving while disqualified. He has been remanded in custody and will reappear in Christchurch District Court on 29 August.

So far Papanui Volume Crime staff have collated 88 complaints in relation to this and the total is expected to rise higher.

Four males aged 17- 19 years were arrested by Christchurch Police on Saturday night 20 August following a large number of serious offences in Christchurch. They appeared in court on Monday 22 August, on various charges including serious driving charges, escaping from custody, and dishonesty offences. All have been remanded in custody.

Papanui Police are appealing to anyone who had a vehicle broken into and goods stolen on Friday or Saturday to contact them.

"We believe that there were in excess of 100 vehicles broken into," says Detective Sergeant Gary Hay, Papanui. 'We'd like anyone who had a vehicle broken into over Friday / Saturday night to contact us and report it."

Areas particularly targeted were car parks at QE2, the Palms, Addington Raceway, Northlands and Pioneer Stadium but also many residential streets throughout the city.

Search warrants have been executed at a number of addresses and an amount of property recovered, which is being collated by Papanui Police.

DS Hay says that this is an enormous task and will take some time.

From Friday night to Saturday night, the occupants of the black Mazda were involved in at least seven pursuits with Police. Each of the pursuits was abandoned by Police when they became dangerous for the public and Police. Police allege the Mazda `baited' police then drove up one-way streets the wrong way, through red lights, with excessive speed, hit parked cars and drove onto footpaths in an effort to avoid Police.

"Safety of the public and police was a huge concern," says Traffic Manager, Inspector Derek Erasmus. "Police were correct in abandoning the pursuits."

Police wanted to speak to the occupants of the vehicle following the sighting of them allegedly breaking car windows and stealing items, and also driving complaints from the public over the 24 hrs from Friday to Saturday night that occurred around the city.

The four males were out of the Mazda when arrested near south Colombo Street on Saturday. Two took off after being approached by a lone officer from the Traffic Police. They were apprehended by a Police Dog handler with assistance from members of the public. Off duty officers were called in over the weekend to assist.

Police would also like the two members of the public who assisted police apprehend the alleged offenders to identify themselves so they can be thanked.