Police keeping quiet over criminal escape

By Rosie Manins

Tolu Maanaiama
Tolu Maanaiama

Dunedin police will not reveal how a man, whom they described as a dangerous criminal, was able to escape from custody at the Dunedin Central police station this week.

Inspector Greg Sparrow, of Dunedin, said he was not prepared to disclose details of Tolu Maanaiama's escape at 3.30pm on Wednesday.

''I have commenced a review and in the coming days we should see if there are opportunities for improvement,'' he said.

Maanaiama, 27, fled the police station and was at large in Dunedin for five hours, before police located him at an associate's home.

Shortly after Maanaiama escaped custody, Inspector Sparrow told media he was believed to be dangerous and should not be approached by the public.

In 2005, he was sentenced to four years' jail after the robbery of a Christchurch dairy with a machete and an imitation firearm.

Police located and arrested Maanaiama without incident at 8.30pm on Wednesday.

Maanaiama did not appear yesterday when a Dunedin District Court registrar remanded him in custody until a later date on a a charge of escaping custody.

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