Police presence felt by residents

By melissa.nightingale@wanganuichronicle.co.nz

OUT IN FORCE: About 20 armed police staff gathered in Gibbons Crescent to execute a search warrant yesterday. PHOTO/ MELISSA NIGHTINGALE
OUT IN FORCE: About 20 armed police staff gathered in Gibbons Crescent to execute a search warrant yesterday. PHOTO/ MELISSA NIGHTINGALE

Children sat cross-legged on the footpath of Titoki St watching armed police gather outside a Castlecliff property yesterday.

Police were carrying out a search warrant after receiving information about stolen firearms, Detective Sergeant Brendon Gerrish said.

A few metres away from the children and other curious residents stood two gun-toting officers, blocking the entrance to Gibbons Crescent with a patrol car.

Behind them were six or seven more police vehicles, clustered around 23 Gibbons Cres.

Armed Offenders Squad officers and dog handlers could be seen among the vehicles.

There were about 20 police staff present.

"They were all standing out there for ages," said a nearby resident after the police left.

"They should have been in there faster."

He and another man said they'd heard police on a megaphone about 10.30am, calling for someone to come out with their hands on their head, and they would not be harmed.

The man said that had gone on for about an hour.

Another resident was surprised at the number of police that showed up.

"I was coming out for a smoke and I see them pull up ... then I see guns and I'm like 'ooh, kids, go back inside'."

Mr Gerrish said "a number of firearms" were stolen in a burglary last week, and they were executing the search warrant on Gibbons Cres after receiving information in relation to the burglary.

He said there were people in the house when police arrived, and they were assisting police with their enquiries.

One person will appear in court today. He would not say whether the stolen firearms were found.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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