Custody remand for crime spree suspect

By Sandra Conchie

A 25-year-old Bellevue man accused of a major crime wave involving the theft of thousands of dollars worth of items from cars in Tauranga remains behind bars.

Roofer Erick Hekeiterangi Wijohn, 23, faced 65 charges of theft ex-car, 78 charges of unlawfully getting into cars, and a theft charge in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

Wijohn is also facing two burglary charges and a charge of possession of knife in a public place.

Court documents revealed that police allege that between February and June this year Wijohn went on a crime spree breaking into two houses, and multiple cars in Tauranga.

Police opposed bail for Wijohn who they say was responsible for a significant increase in thefts from vehicles in Tauranga in recent months.

Wijohn, who was arrested on June 4 at about 3.30am after a Brookfield resident called police after seeing someone acting suspiciously, did not seek bail and he was remanded in custody.

His lawyer Glenn Dixon told Judge Christopher Harding that his client was "alarmed" by the number of offences he is charged with, and needed more time to go through all the police disclosure with him.

Wijohn, who is yet to plead to the charges, is due back in court on July 1.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner said police would not comment on the prosecution case while the charges were unresolved.

However, Mr Turner said it is timely to remind people that they ensure they lock their cars and don't leave valuables inside.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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