Alleged armed robber in court

By Edward Gay, Kieran Campbell

John Koteka (L) and Alex Tereira (R).  Photos / Supplied
John Koteka (L) and Alex Tereira (R). Photos / Supplied

One of the men alleged to have held up tourists at gunpoint in Auckland has appeared in court.

John Koteka faces a raft of charges, including using a rifle to rob tourists on the summit of Mt Eden.

Koteka is alleged to have also fired the gun during the robbery.

He faces charges of stealing a Holden Commodore from Avis rental cars, setting fire to the car, receiving stolen property and aggravated robbery.

As well as a .22 calibre rifle, Koteka is also alleged to have had a sawn-off shotgun and ammunition.

Appearing in Auckland District Court today via audio-visual link from prison, Koteka was remanded in custody to reappear in March.

Koteka was arrested after he and a co-accused - Alex Tereora went on the run.

Police caught up with the pair in Cambridge before tracking them to Tamahere on the southern outskirts of Hamilton, where police laid road spikes.

Police said Tereora and and 34-year-old John Koteka fled in the stolen car when officers signalled them to stop.

Police abandoned the pursuit when it reached speeds of 180km/h, but seconds later the car hit the road spikes and crashed.

Despite being injured, Tereora was chased by police dog Loui and two dog handlers to a nearby trucking yard where he allegedly assaulted an officer before fleeing again, with the police dog close behind.

Hamilton City area commander Greg Nicholls previously said Loui's handler came around a corner to find the dog being choked.

The handler, who has not been identified, fired a warning shot into the air and Tereora fled.

When Loui, who had passed out, regained consciousness he leaped back into action, helping his handler to arrest the offender, police said.

According to police, Loui got a couple of days off to recover.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority is overseeing an investigation into the pursuit and the police dog handler's decision to fire the warning shot.

- NZ Herald

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