Natalie Akoorie

Natalie Akoorie is a reporter at the NZ Herald based in Hamilton.

Teen in court over booze theft which left man critical

The Taharoa teen allegedly stole alcohol and left the store owner with critical injuries. Photo / Greg Bowker
The Taharoa teen allegedly stole alcohol and left the store owner with critical injuries. Photo / Greg Bowker

One of the men who allegedly stole alcohol from a Cambridge bottle store in an incident resulted in the manager being run over and left with critical injuries, has been remanded on bail after a court appearance.

Devon Kepa, 18, from Taharoa, near Kawhia on Waikato's west coast, appeared in the Hamilton District Court on Friday charged with stealing four bottles of whisky from Liquorland Cambridge. The whisky was valued at $184.

Kepa was charged with the theft with Levi James Newport, who has yet to be caught by police.

He was recognised in media reports by family members, who made the teenager hand himself over to Cambridge police late last week.

The store's co-manager 59-year-old Jack Gasnier remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit.

Mr Gasnier suffered multiple injuries during the September 27 incident when he was accidentally run over by a good samaritan trying to help after he chased the alleged offenders to their car.

The Cambridge man has a smashed pelvis, crushed ribs and a broken collarbone.

He is expected to be in intensive care for another 10 days.

Kepa was remanded on bail to re-appear on October 19.

Police say they are still looking for the 20-year-old Newport, who they described as Maori, about 182cm tall and of medium build.

They say he has an extensive criminal history and should not be approached.

- NZ Herald

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