Multiple charges laid over Northland crime spree that saw tourist assaulted, robbed

Police in Wellington. Generic image

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Several people are facing charges over a crime spree that allegedly included two assaults, a robbery and thefts from vehicles in Northland.

The arrests have been made in the last week over incidents that have occurred in Ōmāpere, Opononi and Tītoki.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Clayton said 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.”

Clayton said eight charges have been laid over incidents in Ōmāpere and Opononi during Northland Anniversary Weekend.

Two men, aged 26 and 47, were due to appear in the Whangārei District Court.

“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,” Clayton said.

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

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

At the time the man was sleeping in his vehicle which was vandalised before he was assaulted and left badly shaken, Clayton said.

“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.

Another man has been charged over an assault alleged to have occurred on Mangakahia Road last week.

Last week, police said a 47-year-old man was charged.

“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, and is due to reappear on Wednesday.

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

Officers were also seeking sightings of a white Toyota Prado seen around the Twin Bridges area around 10.20am last Thursday.

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

They can be contacted on 105, citing reference number 240216/4453.

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

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