Fourth man on charges over armed robbery

By Peter de Graaf

Police have arrested a fourth person in connection with the alleged armed robbery of a security guard outside Kaikohe New World. Photo/File.
Police have arrested a fourth person in connection with the alleged armed robbery of a security guard outside Kaikohe New World. Photo/File.

A fourth person has been arrested in relation to the alleged armed robbery of a security guard at Kaikohe New World.

A large sum of cash - understood to be in the tens of thousands - was taken in the September 23 incident in which a semi-automatic rifle is claimed to have been pointed at the guard as he was leaving the supermarket with its weekend takings.

The apparent getaway car, which had been stolen a few days earlier in Paihia, was later found burnt out near Pipiwai.

Early last week, police arrested three Kaikohe members of the Rebels gang and seized three firearms, including the gun allegedly used in the hold-up, as well as a motorbike, ammunition and equipment for making the drug P.

On Friday police arrested a fourth suspect, a 19-year-old Kaikohe man, after a tip-off about his location. He appeared in the Kaikohe District Court on Saturday charged with theft of a vehicle and receiving cash taken in the robbery.

He also faces three other theft charges relating to petrol drive-offs and shoplifting from New World.

He was remanded in custody until December 10.

The main defendants in the case, Ngawati James Paul Wilson, 26, and Cliff Charles Wharerau, 37, are in custody awaiting their next appearance on December 6. Another man, William Michael Waiti, 36, was granted bail to December 17.

At the time of the initial arrests the officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Sergeant Chris Fouhy, said it proved that gangs such as the Rebels were involved in more than just drugs and stolen property.

The cash has not been recovered.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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