Arrest after shop 'smashed' and police car wrecked in dramatic incidents in Dargaville early this morning

By Cherie Howie, Kim Baker Wilson

The Honda dealership has been badly damaged following the ram raid. Photo / Supplied
The Honda dealership has been badly damaged following the ram raid. Photo / Supplied

Police have arrested a man after a series of burglaries and a dramatic ram raid in rural Northland early this morning.

A police car was rammed, a motorcycle shop was smashed up, two vehicles stolen and four other businesses broken into in and around Dargaville.

Police responded to reports of up to five burglaries of stores in central Dargaville about 4.15am.

Three businesses were broken into and a vehicle stolen from one used to break in to two further businesses.

A pursuit began about 4.45am, during which a police vehicle was rammed, causing "significant damage". No officers were injured, said police.

The pursuit was abandoned on Waimata Rd about 5am, after which a person left the vehicle. About an hour later a second vehicle was taken, and a second short pursuit followed.

A man was arrested after the vehicle was abandoned and a brief chase on foot across farmland.

The man was being spoken to and police will this morning carry out scene examinations, the spokesperson said.

Truck driver John Ekdahl told Newshub the police vehicle was rammed after a log-truck blocked a one-lane bridge.

"The ute entered the bridge, saw he couldn't get through, and then reversed, pretty much driving up over the top of the cop car to push him off the bridge, and did a U-turn and took off back towards Dargaville."

The Honda dealership's safe and chainsaws were stolen in the raid. Photo / Supplied
The Honda dealership's safe and chainsaws were stolen in the raid. Photo / Supplied

A witness said a badly damaged police car was seen on the back of a tow truck near the Waihue Hall, about 10 kilometres from Dargaville.

Meanwhile, the Honda dealership's office administrator Chloe McKenzie, who is also the daughter of the owner, said their office had been "pretty much destroyed".

"A truck has driven in our front doors and smashed all the glass, bent all the bars and they've driven that truck through one of our offices. All the window blinds are just sort of hanging there, the desk is all pushed up against the wall, computers are just all over the floor, all the stationary everywhere. Everything's just smashed."

The dealership's safe and chainsaws were stolen, but no bikes were missing as far as she could tell so far.

Police were yet to arrive at the business as of 7.30am as they were still trying to find the offenders, she said.

The raid on the Honda dealership is the second this year, after several Dargaville businesses were attacked in May.

Dargaville Honda owner Bruce McKenzie previously spoke of offenders unsuccessfully trying to enter the store, but fleeing when they shattered the glass in a door and the alarm was tripped.

This morning's raid is at least the sixth attack on the Honda dealership.

The Victoria St Superette, Dargaville Honda, Ruakaka Gas station and Towai Gas station were all targeted in the early hours of May 25.

- NZ Herald

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