Tourists bashed, robbed in van attack

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Photo / File
Photo / File

Two German tourists were robbed and one bashed in an early morning attack when two men smashed the windows of their van and demanded money.

The tourists told police that two men had attacked the van they were sleeping in in a Kaitaia service lane in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A 20-year-old Kaitaia man has been arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one of wilful damage in connection with the robbery.

Devaray Heremaia Cole appeared before a JP in the Kaitaia District Court yesterday. He was remanded in custody until Friday next week.

According to the charge sheets $85 was taken.

The tourists told police the two men smashed the van's windows then demanded the tourists' wallets, which were handed over. One of the victims was struck in the face, although it was not clear whether that was with a fist or the piece of wood that was used to smash the windows. Police were still looking for the second offender at edition time yesterday.

The victims had been living in their van behind Archibald Motors since it broke down on Friday. Archibald's spokesman Clayton Murray said they were waiting for spare parts to arrive before they could get the van fixed and continue on their journey.

Archibald's had loaned them a car so they could at least "tiki tour a bit" while they waited, and had had a whip-round to raise a few dollars for them.

"If anyone else would like to drop some money into the container in the front counter, and maybe redeem ourselves a little, they are welcome to do so," Mr Murray said.

"It's all over Facebook, too, so hopefully some good will come of this."

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