Police hunt for man who fled armed officers

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A vehicle is diverted from Gibbs Rd, Whakapara where police put a cordon in place during a search for a man who fled armed officers this morning. PHOTO/JOHN STONE
A vehicle is diverted from Gibbs Rd, Whakapara where police put a cordon in place during a search for a man who fled armed officers this morning. PHOTO/JOHN STONE

Armed police and dog handlers have been searching for a 39-year-old man who fled from a rural property in Northland this morning.

Police said Mark Andrew Fletcher fled from a rural residential property near Hukerenui, 30km north of Whangarei, about 9am today where armed police had attended to arrest him for allegedly breaching his court release conditions, and for an alleged domestic-related assault.

Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson said police were armed due to information there may be a firearm at the address.

"He managed to evade police and flee the address, heading into nearby bush and farmland," said Mr Dickson.

Two firearms were located and seized at the house. A search involving armed police and dog handlers is underway to locate the man. Gibbs Rd, Whakapara was cordoned off during the search.

Mr Dickson said while Mr Fletcher is not believed to be armed he should not be approached.

Mr Fletcher is described as male Caucasian, 170cm tall, of medium build.
He was wearing black clothing and was bare foot when he was last seen around 9am.
People should report any sightings of Mr Fletcher immediately to police on 111 or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

"Also, please advise us immediately if you see anyone acting suspiciously in the neighbourhood," said Mr Dickson.

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