French tourists' stolen items recovered

Personal items stolen from French tourists attacked in Northland while they slept in their campervan have been recovered after a police search.

Police are interviewing a number of people after the search but cannot say whether this includes two men wanted for the aggravated robbery.

One arrest has been made as a result of the search, but this was on
unrelated matters, police said.

The tourists' digital camera was found but their iPhone remains missing, police said in a statement.

Northland police carried out eight search warrants early yesterday
in relation to the aggravated robbery of three French tourists last month.

The tourists were attacked in the early hours of Friday, May 21, as they slept in their campervan at a small lay-by on SH 1, just south of
Mangamuka settlement.

Two of the three tourists were assaulted, with one losing a tooth in the incident.

Personal items and cash were stolen.

Police said they found drugs, counterfeit money and a firearm during
yesterday's searches in the Okaihau and Horeke areas.

Later in the day the tourists' stolen camera, a Canon EOS 20D digital
SLR in a black camera bag, valued at about $4000, was recovered.

Detectives located and interviewed a number of people in relation to the incident, police said.

One of those interviewed was arrested on unrelated matters.

Detective Mark Dalzell, of Kaitaia, said it was pleasing to recover
the camera for the tourists, however there is some other property still outstanding, which the enquiry team is eager to locate.

This includes an iPhone 3GS with a black shiny slip.

The camera seems to have passed through many hands before it was recovered, and these people will be investigated as possibly being an accessory after the aggravated robbery, Mr Dalzell said.

People who may fit into this category should contact police as soon as
possible, "or they may find us knocking on their door", he said.

There was more work to be done in the mid and far north area over the
next week, he said.

"We are still looking for a small number of individuals and I would encourage them to come forward."

- NZ HERALD STAFF

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