A search by armed police for a fugitive ended in Napier yesterday with eight arrests, including the man hiding in a house and two passers-by an officer recognised as being wanted for shoplifting the previous day.
Acting Sergeant Carl Southwick said police became aware earlier in the day that a man wanted since failing to appear in the Henderson District Court in April was at an address in Seddon Cr, Marewa.
Armed police converged on the area soon after 2.30pm, and it was while awaiting the arrival of reinforcements, including a dog and handler, that an officer who had attended a shoplifting incident at The Warehouse on Monday noticed and arrested the suspects in the street.
Officers then broke a window in a door to gain access to a flat in which they believed the wanted 31-year-old was hiding and found it unoccupied but with evidence that someone had been "hiding out" in the ceiling cavity.
Two neighbouring flats were searched, with four men arrested for obstructing police being guarded as they lay handcuffed on the ground at the rear of the block next to the Chamber St reserve, while the wanted man was found hiding in the ceiling insulation of one of the units.
The men, a teenage girl apprehended for being unlawfully on premises, and the two shoplifting suspects, aged 16 and 17, were all taken to Napier Police Station as the incident ended about 4pm.
The wanted man and two charged with obstruction are expected to appear in Napier District Court today. The others were released with warnings, or to be investigated by Police Youth Services.
While armed officers patrolled the area immediately around the flats, there were almost no restrictions on the movement of people in the area, with no road closures and mainly unhindered access through the area by pedestrians, including pupils finishing the day at nearby Napier Boys' High.