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Police updates on North Island criminal activity

Police have issued a number of updates on criminal activity in the North Island.

Arrests made in Gisborne homicide investigation

Tairāwhiti CIB, in conjunction with Tāmaki Makaurau CIB, have arrested two people in relation to the Murder of Maraea Smith on the 25 March 2022 in Tairāwhiti.

A man, 36, and a woman, 30, were arrested in Manurewa today and charged with Murder.

Both people appeared in the Manukau District Court and have been remanded in custody.

They will next appear in Gisborne High Court on May 6, 2022.

Operation Tauwhiro: Number of firearms, drugs, seized in central Auckland

Police have seized a cache of firearms and illegal drugs and arrested a 37-year-old male following information revealed in an ongoing investigation into the illegal importation of restricted firearms into New Zealand.

A search warrant, executed as part of Operation Tauwhiro, at a Central Auckland address has resulted in Police seizing 223 grams of methamphetamine, one shotgun, four rifles and two pistols.

Following a tip off from the US Department of Homeland Security, NZ Police launched a three-month investigation resulting in the search warrant being executed on 11 April.

The sole occupant of the address, a 37-year-old male, was arrested and charged with illegal trafficking of firearms, the unlawful possession of a firearm and possession for supply of methamphetamine and was due to appear in the Auckland District Court on April 13.

Detective Superintendent Greg Williams says the National Organised Crime Group (NOCG) Firearms Investigation Team will focus on the key instigators involved in the manufacture, importing and supply of illicit firearms.

“The team is also developing significant working relationships with a number of International partners who are more than willing to work with us.

“Yet again, we see a link to Class A drugs and military-style loaded firearms. However the good news is, like every gun we seize under these types of circumstances, they will be destroyed and out of circulation forever.”

Detective Superintendent Williams says this a great example of the work NOCG is engaged in.

The investigation remains ongoing and Police cannot rule out further arrests at this stage.

Spate of Vehicle Thefts Causing Concern

Bay of Plenty Police are concerned about a spate of vehicle thefts across the wider BOP and Waikato areas.

Inspector Phil Gillbanks says “Police are committed to actively investigating vehicle theft and holding offenders to account. However, Police cannot be everywhere at once and cannot deter opportunistic thieves on our own. We urge people to take preventative measures in order to prevent their car from being stolen in the first place.”

Thieves are targeting the following vehicles:

  • Mazda Demio, Nissan Tiida, Toyota Aqua, Toyota Corolla, Mazda Attenza, Subaru Legacy.

They are predominantly stolen by young people and are being used for joy-riding, and conducting aggravated burglaries of liquor stores, suburban dairies and large retail stores.

Some offenders are as young as 12 years old, which raises serious concerns about the safety of the child, their passengers, and the public.

Police are seeking the help of vehicle owners to make their vehicles less attractive for theft. We encourage vehicle owners to take the following prevention measures:

  • Ensure the vehicle is parked off the road, out of sight, or in secure car parking where possible.
  • Fit an after-market vehicle alarm or vehicle immobilizer.
  • Use a steering wheel lock at all times – purchase from any automotive store for less than $100.

With the public’s help, Police and partner agencies can continue to hold these young offenders to account, while also supporting them on a better path away from future offending.

If you notice suspicious activity around cars, please contact Police on 111 if it is happening and 105 after the fact.

Fatal workplace incident, Gisborne

A man has died following a workplace incident in Awapuni, Gisborne today.

Emergency services were called to an address on Stanley Road at around 11:15am.

Worksafe has been notified.

Police will be investigating on behalf of the Coroner.

Firearms, drugs and cash seized during search warrants in the Far North

Police have made arrests and seized a number of drugs and firearms following a search warrant targeting associates of the Tribesman Motorcycle Gang.

The search warrants, executed as part of an area organised crime investigation, saw the Far North Organised Crime Unit target the sale and supply of methamphetamine and cannabis at four Kaikohe properties.

Two firearms, five shotgun shells, $10,000 cash and a large quantity of both methamphetamine and cannabis was located and seized across all four addresses.

It comes just days after Northland Police uncovered a significant amount of stolen property, firearms and drugs during a search warrant at a Whangārei property.

Four men are now before the Kaikohe District Court and have been remanded in custody. They face a raft of charges, including:

A 26-year-old man has been charged with three counts of offers to supply and possession of methamphetamine for supply, and the unlawful possession of ammunition.

A 30-year-old man has been charged with six counts of offers to supply methamphetamine and the supply and possession of cannabis.

A 25-year-old man has been charged with 11 counts of offers to supply methamphetamine, supply and possession of cannabis, unlawfully possess a pistol, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

A 27-year-old man was also arrested and charged with unlawful possession of ammunition.

Police have also charged this man with disorderly behaviour, possession of an offensive weapon and assaulting a person with blunt instrument, which is in relation to a previous incident on 11 March 2022 in Kaikohe that Police have been actively investigating.

Police will continue to recover unlawful firearms and prevent firearms-related violence by criminal gangs and organised crime groups, as part of the nationwide Operation Tauwhiro.

Arrest made during Hawke’s Bay search warrant

Hawke’s Bay Police arrested a 37-year-old man on Wednesday 13th April following a search warrant at a Napier address, targeting criminal offending in the region.

The search warrant, executed as part of Operation Bloodhound, also saw a significant amount of methamphetamine, cash, and a firearm seized.

The Napier man is due to appear in Hastings District Court today, Thursday 14th April, charged with a number of drug dealing offences.

Operation Bloodhound is an ongoing operation to investigate and disrupt gang activities in the Eastern District.

Police remain committed to combatting criminal activities and ensuing our communities are safe and feel safe.

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