Hawke's Bay's most wanted


Hawke's Bay police are praising digital media as a valuable tool in their efforts to collar those wanted for arrest.

The Bay's current "wanted" list featured 13 people, 12 men and one woman, with police citing a Facebook picture posted of two people involved in emptying a charity collection tin of $60 at a Hastings service station last week as a prime example.

Within hours of the photo of the collection tin thieves being posted in both print and online, the calls and on-site messages began. And the 20- and 28-year-old Auckland men who had headed to the Bay to find seasonal work were arrested the following day.

The current line-up is on the national police site, under the Eastern Region, with those being sought also featuring on the Hawke's Bay Police Facebook page, which Eastern District communications manager Kris McGehan said had been an ongoing success story since being set up last August.

"We have had several people come in since we started it to say 'get me off it'," Ms McGehan said.

Crime Prevention adviser Paul Miller agreed, saying people had phoned the police to effectively hand themselves in after seeing themselves on the site.

"They had not been aware they were on there," Mr Miller said.

"Facebook is very popular and draws a lot of people in. We have had some very good results."

Two of the Facebook wanteds are 46-year-old Maireriki Isaac and 23-year-old Hagen Henare. Hagen's appearance had drawn 166 "looks", while Facebook subscribers had left a note about Maireriki, saying "try Auckland or Rotovegas [Rotorua]".

Ms McGehan said police did not have a "top 10" or "most wanted" category as the list was constantly in a state of change, with new faces appearing and others being removed after being located.

Most of the wanted carry a simple "wanted to arrest" tag on their profiles, although some have details of why they are being sought.

Kelly Whaterau, a 35-year-old Napier woman who has four aliases, is wanted for breach of community work.

Zane Lewis, a 22-year-old from Waipukurau, is also wanted for breach of community work and breach of home detention.

Stefan Eagle, 18, of Waipukurau, is wanted for driving while disqualified.

Hastings teenager Arthur Graham is wanted for breach of court release conditions.

Two of the line-up, Anzac Gemmell, 36, of Hastings and Makitua Tuaputa, 24, of Napier, are stated as having more than one outstanding warrant for arrest against them.

Ms McGehan said the national Wanted site and Facebook drew on the curiosity factor. "People are curious to see what and who is on there. It creates attention." Anyone with information on the whereabouts of those in the line-up is asked to phone the police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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