Police investigate spate of serious incidents

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Police in Tauranga are appealing for information from the public following three concerning but unrelated incidents in the area in the last 24 hours.

The first incident occurred in the Kaimai Ranges on SH29 Valley View Road. A man in his 40s from the Western Bay of Plenty area was found unconscious by the road by members of the public. His vehicle was later located in a rural Matamata location by Waikato Police.

The injured man was treated in Tauranga Hospital and later discharged. Police are yet to talk to him in detail to ascertain the circumstances of the incident but are keen to hear from anyone on SH29 between 8pm and 9pm who saw any activity that might be related to this incident.

At approximately 11pm a male pizza delivery worker delivered arrived at Maungatapu Road, Tauranga to deliver a large pizza order. He was assaulted in the street by two Maori men who stole the pizza order. He received minor injuries but did not require any medical attention.

Police are following some positive leads but are still interested in anyone who witnessed the assault and robbery or has information about the movements of a white Nissan Maxima between 10pm and midnight. Police are working on the possibility that the offenders made a false order and then intercepted the delivery.

The final incident happened early this morning at the Kingsview car park, Tauranga. Three men in their late teens and early 20s had just returned to their vehicle when they were approached by a man and a woman who robbed them of their vehicle, assaulting the driver.

The three victims managed to immediately alert a nearby police patrol who quickly located the vehicle and signalled for it to stop. The vehicle accelerated away from the police vehicle which continued to follow it. At the 14th Avenue roundabout the vehicle lost control and collided with a pole.

The two occupants in their 30s were taken to Tauranga Hospital. The woman is still being assessed for her injuries. They are not life-threatening. The man has undergone hospital treatment and it is anticipated that he may appear in court later today. Both are expected to face a variety of charges.

Detectives investigating this incident want to hear from anyone who witnessed the robbery between 3am and 3.20am or the subsequent driving manner of a 1990 Toyota Corolla in the CBD and Cameron Road areas.

Area Commander for Western Bay of Plenty Police said Inspector Clifford Paxton, said: "There appears to be no particular reason for this sudden spate of serious incidents but the nature and scale of them is concerning. It is disappointing that a small minority of people have no regard for others and are expressing extreme anti-social behaviour to victimise innocent people. It's an opportune time to remind people to be vigilant when it comes to personal safety and to notify the police of any suspicious activity so that we can work together as a community to prevent this type of offending and keep Tauranga safe."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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