Residents were stopped from going to their Tauranga homes after the police armed offenders squad helped during a search of a house in Robins Rd, Judea.

A squad car prevented residents from accessing the cul-de-sac, and some were still unable to get to the warmth of their homes as night fell.

Police would only say that it was a planned search warrant, and the armed offenders were there as a precaution.

Awitness said the armed offenders squad was also carrying shields. Other residents said they saw police in the area well before the squad arrived.

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One couple who lived about halfway up the cul-de-sac were escorted back to their house by police so that they could be reunited with their elderly parents.