Wednesday, 11 April 2007 - 12:47pm |

Two charged with arson after attempting to alight campervans

2 min read

Wellington Police have arrested and charged two people with arson after three fires were lit in the Te Papa car park during the early hours of Wednesday 11 April 2007.

At around 2.40am two men were in the car park area opposite the Museum Hotel adjacent to Te Papa.

An attempt was made to set alight a campervan that had four occupants, including two children sleeping inside.

Soon after another campervan was set alight. This vehicle had two adult occupants sleeping inside.

The two men then ran off from the area.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Warwick McKee says: "Police are very grateful to two men who were walking passed the area who saw the fires. One remained and extinguished a fire to the campervan by removing his shirt and beating the fire out. Minor damage was caused. However, if it was not for the prompt actions of this member of the public the matter could have been a tragedy.

"The second man chased the subsequently arrested men and called for assistance of another member of the public who joined the chase and caught one person nearby. This person was restrained and held by the member of the public and a Te Papa security guard until assistance arrived.

"The second person was apprehended nearby by a Te Papa security guard and held until Police arrived.

"Police would like to praise the efforts of the witnesses who assisted by putting out the fire and those who pursued and apprehended the men.

"Police also received valuable assistance from security staff from Te Papa who saw the incident on CCTV and quickly attended. The CCTV was recorded digitally and has been invaluable in resolving the investigation.

"Police would like to hear from the male witness who assisted by pursuing and apprehending one of the men. This person left the area with his girlfriend prior to police arriving.

"Police are very concerned about the danger that could have resulted to the occupants of the campervans asleep at the time."

Police have arrested and charged a 22-year-old Porirua male and a 16-year-old Wellington youth with arson. They appear in the Wellington Youth Court today.

Police would like to speak to any witnesses to the incident that haven't spoken to the Police. Please contact the Wellington CIB as soon as possible on 04 381 2000.

Warwick McKee

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant

Wellington CIB

DD: 04 381 2078