Tuesday, 20 February 2024 - 1:08pm |

Police put prolific posse in their sights

3 min read

A Police investigation has brought a halt to an alleged spree of offending across parts of Northland.

In the past week, a series of arrests have been made targeting a group of associates for incidents that have occurred in Ōmāpere, Opononi and Tītoki.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton says the alleged offending has taken place within the past month.

“We have been investigating a spate of stolen vehicles, theft from vehicles and unlawful interference with vehicles.

“Police have also laid charges over an aggravated robbery near Opononi.”

  • Incidents in the Hokianga:

Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says eight charges have been laid over a series of incidents in Ōmāpere and Opononi during Northland Anniversary Weekend.

Two men, aged 26 and 47, are before the Whangārei District Court on a range of offending relating to vehicle crime.

“Police have been investigating offending late at night and in the early hours of 27 and 28 January this year, namely at properties along Hokianga Harbour Drive,” Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says.

“They have been charged with offences including unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, three counts of theft ex-car and receiving property.”

Police have also charged the 26-year-old with the aggravated robbery of a tourist off State Highway 12, near Opononi.

“The incident occurred very early on 28 January, where a tourist was sleeping in his vehicle,” Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says.

“His vehicle was allegedly vandalised before the victim was subjected to an assault which left him badly shaken.

“The man’s belongings were taken at the time, but we have also recovered some of this property when arrests were made late last week.”

Both offenders are next expected in the Whangārei District Court on 21 and 26 February respectively.

  • Second offender charged:

Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says a second man has been charged over an incident that occurred on Mangakahia Road last week.

Last week, Police advised a 47-year-old man was charged in the investigation.

“As a result of our enquiries we have now charged a 52-year-old man over the incident, and he has been jointly charged with two counts of assault with a weapon,” Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says.

He has appeared in the Whangārei District Court, with a next appearance scheduled for 21 February.

Detective Senior Sergeant Clayton says investigators have worked diligently to piece together the events.

“These incidents have created numerous victims and inflicted harm against our community, in which we have seen violent and brazen acts being carried out.

“We know our community do not stand for this sort of offending and we will continue to put people before the Court.

“Our investigation is very much ongoing and we cannot rule out further arrests or charges being laid.”

  • Sightings sought over recent incident:

As part of the ongoing investigation, Police are seeking sightings of a white Toyota Prado seen around the Twin Bridges area on Thursday.

The incident occurred, on Mangakahia Road, at around 10.20am on 15 February 2024.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw the 4WD vehicle parked near a petrol tanker or in the surrounding area.

If you witnessed the vehicle, please contact Police on 105 or go online to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 using ‘Update My Report’. Please reference file number 240216/4453.

Information can also be provided anonymously through Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.


Jarred Williamson/NZ Police