Police are trying to identify two men and locate a vehicle involved in the aggravated robbery of two French tourists on SH 2, Papamoa about 4pm yesterday (Saturday, 7)
The two 21- year-old tourists were hitch-hiking from Mount Maunganui to Rotorua, when they were picked up in a vehicle, with two occupants.
About 5 minutes later, this vehicle pulled into a lay by on SH 2 next to Welcome Bay Road, and parked behind an empty building.
The two tourists were then assaulted and had their money, passports, some clothing and other possessions stolen by the 2 occupants of the vehicle. The vehicle was then driven away toward Rotorua.
The vehicle is described as a black coloured, older model 4-door sedan, in rough condition.
The registration number is thought to be ZR 9879, or something similar. This number is registered to a black coloured Nissan Pulsar and enquiries are continuing into the vehicle.
The two assailants are described as males, Maori or Pacific Islander, both aged between 20 and 30 years old, and of extremely low intellect.
Police are asking for help from anyone that may have seen these two hitch-hikers being picked up or abandoned, or any information on this motor vehicle and/or the two occupants responsible for this violent attack.
The two victims received minor injuries as a result of the attack.
Although traumatised by this unprovoked attack, they are very thankful for the many offers of assistance from within the Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Hawkes Bay.
Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.