Wairoa community supports tourist robbed at gunpoint

By Harrison Christian

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Wairoa Mayor Craig Little invited the attacked tourist to stay at his family farm for two nights. Photo / Glenn Taylor
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little invited the attacked tourist to stay at his family farm for two nights. Photo / Glenn Taylor

The Mexican tourist who was robbed at gunpoint while hitchhiking in northern Hawke's Bay this week has been made an honorary citizen of Wairoa by the town's Mayor.

Roberto Arteaga, a 30-year-old lawyer from Mexico City, was left shaken after three men took his belongings at gunpoint on SH2 near Raupunga on Monday.

After hearing about Mr Arteaga's ordeal on the radio, Wairoa Mayor Craig Little invited the tourist to stay at his family farm for two nights.

Mr Little also made Mr Arteaga an honorary citizen during a presentation yesterday morning.

The presentation included the gifting of a Wairoa tie and cufflinks, $100 cash out of the Mayor's fund, and a book about the town.

Mr Little, who described Mr Arteaga as "an incredible guy" said he'd been heartened by the Wairoa's response to Monday's incident.

"The people of Wairoa are absolutely disappointed it's happened to him. It's not what Wairoa is about."

A police spokesperson said three men, charged with aggravated robbery, would appear in the Gisborne District Court today in relation to the armed hold-up of Mr Arteaga.

Police from Wairoa and Gisborne searched two Raupunga properties yesterday morning and arrested three males aged 17, 19 and 22.

Police found the vehicle used in the robbery as well as some of the tourist's property. A fourth male, aged 22, was also arrested on an unrelated matter.

Sergeant Mike O'Brien said several items belonging to Mr Arteaga had not yet been found.

Mr Arteaga said he was "really satisfied" with police handling of the incident.

He was relieved the police had recovered his swiss army knife.

He was still missing his camera, cellphone and some clothes.

Mr O'Brien said police wanted to hear from anyone who had any information about the items or the robbery.

Police also wanted to thank members of the public who had already provided information which led to the arrests of the three men yesterday.

Anyone with information could contact Wairoa Police on 06 8388345, or information could be given anonymously to the Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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