Armed cops nab car in Flaxmere

By Amy Shanks, Lawrence Gullery

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Armed police raided a Flaxmere home yesterday to reclaim a prized Commodore Club Sport car stolen from a Hastings tyre outlet a week ago.

The tip-off to police came following a front page story in Hawke's Bay Today highlighting the theft of the black V8 1996 vehicle owned by Jeremy Thorburn.

Hastings Police Sergeant Neil Baker said the information came from an anonymous tip-off early Wednesday morning and nine staff including a dog handler were dispatched to the Oban St address in Flaxmere about 11am.

"We located the vehicle parked around the back of the house. Police had to be armed due to the nature of the occupants in the house. They were known to police.

"We made one arrest from the address and another arrest, unrelated to this matter, from a different property."

Mr Baker said the man arrested from the house where the car was found faced a charge of receiving stolen property and was assisting police with further inquiries.

"He was just an occupant in the house and we believe there will be more arrests made in connection [with the car theft]."

There was "no drama" during the time police entered the property.

"We've contacted the owner to say we've found the car. He hasn't got a spare key so we're having to tow it from the property."

A neighbour to the property said he had not seen the distinctive black vehicle before the police arrived this morning. He said the people living in the house were noisy, there were sounds of fights breaking out and parties were held often into the late hours of the night.

It is believed the car had been moved around during the week with police receiving news of sightings across the region.

"We had various sightings of the car sporadically, but nothing to indicate it had been at the [Flaxmere] property for more than a night," Mr Baker said.

The car would remain at Hawke's Bay Towing for the next couple of days while police conducted a full forensic investigation, before releasing it to the owner.

"There was no real obvious damage, and nothing to indicate that it's been used for anything other than just driving around. We are just pleased it has been recovered."

It was unusual for thieves to target such a distinctive vehicle, Mr Baker added. "It's not common to take a high profile car such as this."

Mr Thorburn said the discovery of his beloved Club Sport was bitter sweet, as the pristine vehicle had, "basically been given a thrashing for the past five days.

"It was running smooth before, I spent nearly $3000 on the engine last year, but I am not sure what condition it's in now."

He was, however, relieved to have the mystery of its whereabouts solved for good.

"I'm glad it's finally over, it puts me at ease and it puts Motordrome at ease," he said.

It was yet to be determined how much damage there was and what it would cost to repair.

"The keys were not in it and they are worth $2000 alone. I'll definitely be changing the number plates. It's good that I can actually suss it out and see what needs to be done."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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