Tuesday, 8 September 2009 - 8:21am |
National News

Public help in prompt arrest of Hamilton bag snatchers

1 min read

Waikato Police are crediting the accuracy of witness reports as being the key to the arrest of four men responsible for the aggravated robbery of an Asian woman in Hamilton.

Detective Sergeant Nigel Keall of the West Hamilton CIB said the woman was knocked to the ground and had her handbag stolen by a group of men in the car park of a Wholesalers in Te Rapa about 12.40pm yesterday.

"The men then fled the scene in a red Subaru Impreza along Te Kowhai Rd. There getaway was foiled however by a staff member from the store who followed the thieves in his car relaying information to Police by cell phone.

"The offenders then ditched the red Subaru for a green Audi and fled north, Police rushing to the scene were greatly assisted by the accuracy of statements taken from witnesses with accurate descriptions of the offenders and vehicle details."

Mr Keall said further assistance from the public resulted in the offenders being located at the Huntly KFC restaurant off SH1 about 1.30pm.

"When officers arrived one offender was in the store while three others were standing by the Audi."

The four, aged between 17-21-years-old, were arrested on aggravated robbery and theft of a motor vehicle charges and are expected to appear in the Hamilton District Court today.

"It appears the offenders, all Polynesian males from South Auckland had approached another Asian customer in the store car park a short time earlier, so concerned was she about their behaviour she left her trolley and returned to the store," said Mr Keall.

"We believe this woman used good situational awareness and Police would urge people to raise the alarm as soon as possible in situations such as this, goods and property can be replaced where as lives can't," he said.

Mr Keall said yesterday's events highlighted the value of the community working with the Police to ensure a prompt arrest.