Wednesday, 13 May 2009 - 1:47pm |

Police look at possible links between ram raids

2 min read

Police are investigating two ram raids early this morning (Wednesday, 13 May) that may be linked to up to three other offences over the last few weeks.

Around 4am officers were alerted to an incident at Rongotea Garage in Douglas Square. A 4x4 vehicle had backed into the front doors of the garage smashing the windows. At least two offenders were then seen going into the garage and ripping the cigarette cabinet from the wall. The vehicle then made off in the direction of SH1.

About 12 minutes later police received a second report of a 4x4 ramming the doors of the Shell service station in Sanson. The vehicle failed to break through the doors so the occupants got out and smashed the glass. They then tried to remove a cigarette cabinet from the wall but again this was unsuccessful and they left, heading south towards Foxton.

Although the Rongotea alert was received by police first it is possible that the Sanson service station was in fact the first to be attacked and that having failed in their mission the offenders moved on to Rongotea.

Inquiries have revealed that a Toyota 4x4 vehicle had been recently stolen from Foxton and some vehicle number plates had been stolen from Tangimoana, both of which are thought to have been used in these offences. The Toyota has since been found partly burned out on Himatangi Beach.

This mornings incidents follow on from a similar offence in Foxton on 1 May when a stolen four-wheel drive truck was used to ram the Seabury Auto Stop and thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes were stolen. Police believe all three incidents are linked.

They are also looking back at two other offences committed on April 15 and April 22 at the Mobil Manfeild in Feilding, and the Caltex in Sanson, respectively.

In Feilding the alarm of the garage was activated some time after 2am and the owner arrived to find a window smashed and cigarettes missing. In Sanson a car was parked by the service station. The occupants of the vehicle then got out and smashed a window to enter the building, before breaking open a cabinet and stealing cigarettes.

Police later pursued a car believed involved. The occupants decamped as they reached Palmerston North. One man, a 25-year-old from Pahiatua, was arrested and charged with a number of offences including burglary. He is currently bailed to appear at Palmerston North District Court on 27 May.

Detective Greg Hogan said: "Although there are some differences in the offences committed back in April we have to consider the possibility that all five offences may be linked."

Anyone with information about these offences is asked to contact Detective Greg Hogan at Feilding Police on 06 323 6363.

Media enquiries should be referred to Communications Manager Kim Perks on 06 351 2546 or 027 234 8256.