Two men who showed every sign of intending to rob a Kaitaia service station in the early hours of Thursday morning were spectacularly unsuccessful, thanks to the partnership between Building Safer Communities (former Total Security Management - TSM) and the police.
The drama began at 1.30am, when security cameras relayed images of two men acting suspiciously to the police station. The camera monitor followed the pair, from camera to camera, and alerted a patrol before they reached the Mobil service station, which was believed to be their target.
The attendant was advised and locked the doors, and the patrol arrived before the two men tried to enter.
One of them was allegedly seen to take a knife from the rear waistband of his trousers and put it in a bag.
By that stage the police, including a dog handler, had been called by BSC.
The two men walked off but were again followed by the camera monitor as they made their way south along the main street, and police apprehended them near the fire station.
One of them, a 24-year-old local, was charged with possession of a knife in a public place, possession of an imitation firearm (found in his bag), possession of a methamphetamine utensil and preparing to commit a crime.
BSC crime intervention manager Bill Frost said the arrest was the best result achieved by the community surveillance partnership so far.
"All the systems put in place - the cameras, the monitor, the patrol, our liaison with the police, the capturing of evidence on camera - played their part to perfection," he said.
It was also noteworthy, he added, that the service station attendant had that very day completed a security course in Kaitaia.
The course content including two mock armed robberies.