Police chase: Alleged Gunman had eaten raw meth before stealing car and taking hostage

By Regan Schoultz, Tess Nichol, Lynley Bilby

Police at the scene of the hostage drama. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Police at the scene of the hostage drama. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A man taken hostage by an alleged meth-crazed gunman is unharmed but recovering from a "horrendous" ordeal, say police.

The 64-year-old man was at home with his wife when the allegedly armed man broke into their Bombay home in the early hours of this morning.

The man was allegedly forced at gunpoint into his own car which was taken by a driver fleeing police during a police pursuit that stretched 120km from Auckland's North Shore to the Waikato earlier today.

His wife was left behind at their home. Police said both were uninjured but left quite shaken.


In a media conference this afternoon, Inspector Hayden Mander said two aggravated robberies had been carried out last night.

During the first incident, two vehicles were stolen from a man at gunpoint at a Glenfield property.

After a police chase, a second aggravated robbery was carried out and a man was taken hostage.

"At about 12.35 this morning a Holden ute was seen in the corner of Lake and Esmonde Rd in Takapuna and it was doing burnouts.

"A police unit signalled for the driver to pull over but the driver failed to stop and a pursuit was initiated."

Mr Mander said the driver had continued to flee police initially heading towards Devonport.

He said the driver had been travelling at speeds in excess of 150km/h at which point police called off their pursuit.


"Police contacted the owner of the ute who said several men had been to his property and had stolen his ute and a BMW from him at gunpoint."

He said the stolen ute continued to drive south down the motorway while being monitored by motorway cameras.

Spikes were laid in the road at Bombay.

"The stolen ute drove over those spikes but continued to flee and drove to a nearby cul-de-sac.

"Officers cordoned the end of that street but the man got out of his car and ran into a property [allegedly] holding a firearm."

He said a couple in their 60s lived at the property and were in bed asleep when they were woken by noises.

"The [alleged] gunman smashed a ranchslider door and ordered the gentleman in the house to get into his own Ford Falcon with him. The man's wife was left behind."

Mr Mander said the alleged gunman then appeared with the hostage and began to flee south with the man.

The alleged gunman drove to the Hamilton expressway, where he drove through the scene of a truck and trailer crash.

"We had a truck on its side blocking both southbound lanes and the pursuit that went through the crash scene."

"It created a lot of havoc," said a police spokesman.

The blue Ford Falcon he was driving was also seen weaving across the centreline.

More spikes were laid, which damaged at least one of the tires of the vehicle.

The man continued to drive south but crashed a short time later on the Horotiu Expressway with the hostage still in the vehicle.

"The [alleged] gunman got out of the car and hid behind the vehicle. He was called upon to surrender and was taken into custody by the armed offenders squad a short time later.

"The offender then told police he had [allegedly] swallowed 3mg of meth and was taken to Middlemore Hospital to be assessed."

Mr Mander said the 64-year-old man sustained a minor hand injury but was otherwise unharmed.

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old offender has been released from hospital and will be interviewed today by police.

"He is expected to face a series of serious charges."

He said the incident was related to the Black Power gang and rooted in organised crime.

He said two men were still being sought by police.

"We believe there are two unidentified men that we are looking for."

Mr Mander said police were still looking for the black BMW stolen during the first aggravated robbery.

"This was a dynamic and rapidly evolving incident. It involved numerous police officers across a large part of the North Island.

"Inquiries into other people responsible for the aggravated burglary in Glenfield are on going."

He appealed for any witnesses with information about the incident to come forward to police.

Mr Mander said the incident was concerning.

"A firearm was [allegedly] used in two aggravated burglaries and a hostage was taken so it is concerning."

He said the weapon allegedly used in both incidences was a rifle.

Mr Mander said the victim and his wife had been seriously traumatised.

However, during the incident he said the man had been very calm and collected and had taken time to speak to the alleged offender.

Mr Mander said 8g of drugs had been located on the alleged offender. No other drugs had been found.

ONE News reported the man was eating raw methamphetamine during the chase and fired a number of shots at police.

The gunman's white ute is still sitting in the driveway at the newly built subdivision in Bombay, south of Auckland, where the man was taken hostage and had his car stolen.


Neighbour Mrs Freyja Taito said she was up at 1am feeding her baby when she heard a car screeching down the road into the usually peaceful cul-de-sac.

"It sounded like someone was coming out here to do burnouts, I thought how dare you," she said.

"Then we saw one of the neighbour's cars leave the driveway.

"There was a bit of confrontation and police were here with dogs and guns and stuff."

Mrs Taito said she learned this morning that her neighbour had been taken hostage. She did not know him or his wife too well, she said, as the subdivision was new and everyone on the road had only moved in recently.

"They're an older couple. Really lovely people."

Mrs Taito said they had adult children who did not live at the house with them.

"It's pretty scary, it's a little bit close to home. I'm just glad we had our gates closed."

Mrs Taito said as soon as police had finished their inquiries and the man was back home she would be checking in on him and his wife to bring them food and make sure they were okay.

"We're all pretty close around the street so it's nice to have that support."

Brian Pryor, who lives on Bern Rd near the Fonterra milk plant at Te Rapa, said he was woken in the early hours of the morning by a noise so loud it sounded like a jet plane.

"It woke me up about half past one, it was really a strange noise, it sounded like a car or some vehicle going flat tack. Like the tyres had been shredded and the car was going on the metal rims."

Mr Pryor could see lights from his window but nothing else. He said he did not hear police sirens.

"The sound of that car, the noise going past here was extraordinary. It sounded like a jet going over me. It was going like the clappers."

A Devonport resident told the Herald he heard a police car and a chased car "scream" past his house on Victoria Rd towards Devonport village and back towards Takapuna late last night.

He said it sounded as though they were travelling more than 100km/h at each passing.

An ambulance spokesperson said a man was taken to Middlemore Hospital with mild to moderate injuries for medical treatment.

A man was in custody.

- NZ Herald

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