Police cars rammed as raiders appear in Hamilton court

Police cars damaged by fleeing vehicle as Hamilton ram raiders appear in court. Photo / File
Police cars damaged by fleeing vehicle as Hamilton ram raiders appear in court. Photo / File

A driver wanted for a spate of ram raids in Hamilton allegedly turned his car on the police and rammed chasing vehicles during a dramatic police pursuit early today.

Four people were due to appear in court today charged with a range of offences relating to seven ram raids targeting businesses in the city this week.

Acting detective senior sergeant William Loughrin said the burglaries had been committed over the past three days using stolen vehicles to drive into shop fronts and steal items.

The raids, which were executed by a "motivated group of offenders", occurred in the early hours of the morning while the shops were closed.

Loughrin said over the past few days police had conducted a number of scene examinations, reviewed CCTV footage and identified those allegedly involved.

The breakthrough came when police found a stolen vehicle allegedly used in some of the ram raids. Two men were arrested.

A number of searches warrants were conducted at addresses linked to these men where police found a number of stolen items.

Police patrols were increased overnight and early this morning they identified another vehicle linked to the burglaries.

When they attempted to pull over the vehicle, the driver allegedly drove off ramming chasing police cars. It took road spikes to stop the wanted car where it came to a halt on Cobham Dr.

Loughrin said the driver was arrested but two passengers ran from the car. One was arrested hours later and police are still hunting the third person.

Police want to thank members of the public who reported suspicious behaviour which led to identifying the offender's vehicle in the Hamilton area.

Loughrin this morning asked businesses to beef up security to prevent being targeted by raiders. He recommended owners considered having CCTV on both the interior and exterior of their properties and place bollards at the front of the shop to prevent vehicles being driven into it.

He also advised shop owners to remove valuable stock from the premises or secure it safely when the shop was closed.

- NZ Herald

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