A brutal bashing, a bizarre car dumping and an attempted armed robbery foiled by a feisty retailer. Hawke's Bay Police solved plenty of big cases in 2020, but several are still unsolved. Reporter Christian Fuller asked how the investigations are going.
Daksha Patel's certainly not worried that a would-be armed robber is still on the loose in Hawke's Bay.
The small-but-fierce Kiwi Street Foodmarket co-owner fended off a man holding a large gun and demanding money by picking up a baseball bat and chasing him out of the store.
Despite video footage of the entire incident on December 10 being seen around the country, the 67-year-old's act of defiance hasn't yet yielded an arrest.
It's one of several high-profile incidents in 2020 that police in Hawke's Bay are still working on in the background, hopeful of a breakthrough.
The Eastern District Police crime services manager, Detective Inspector Rob Jones, says while police always try to solve cases quickly, they won't sacrifice a thorough and comprehensive investigation to do so.
Police were called to the family-run dairy on Kiwi St, Camberley, after Patel chased off the would-be-robber.
Jones said the investigation remains active and police are following positive lines of investigation, but no arrests have been made.
Patel, her husband Mukesh and son Rohan are optimistic the offender will be caught.
Rohan, 18, said there have been no further problems since the incident, but hopes the police will find the man responsible.
"I don't know how likely it is, but I hope they get caught in the end," he said. "It would feel good that someone is held accountable for it, even if nobody was hurt."
Jones said all reported crimes are taken seriously and investigated using whatever evidence is available.
Several investigative techniques are used to gather evidence and hold offenders to account, according to Jones, including gathering physical and forensic evidence, collecting and reviewing CCTV footage and interviewing people.
"Especially in the case of serious crimes, gathering evidence to meet the threshold required for a successful prosecution can be time-consuming and meticulous," he said.
"Wherever possible, police will work to provide the public with as much information about an ongoing case as possible."
However, Jones said work is also done "behind the scenes" that cannot be publicised due to the risk of compromising an investigation.
He added that sometimes there are limited or no lines of inquiry available and a resolution is not possible.
Police also encouraged the public to continue to provide relevant information on ongoing or unresolved cases.
These cases include, but are not limited too:
BEATING OF 4-YEAR-OLD
Almost a year after a 4-year-old boy was brutally beaten in Flaxmere, no arrests have been.
A family member reported the beating after the boy was found at a Ramsey Cres home last January 29 with widespread bruising and a brain injury.
Former Detective Inspector Mike Foster previously said the injuries were the worst he had seen in his 30-year career.
An investigation is ongoing.
STRANGER DANGER IN NAPIER
On February 21 last year a man in a car approached a Napier Girls' High School student and a report was filed.
Police were told the man was sitting in a car outside Ma's Fish and Chip shop on Coote Rd, Napier, and asked the student to get into the car. She refused.
The area was canvassed for CCTV footage by police and information sought to identify anyone of interest, but no clear lines of inquiry were available.
Emails were sent to other local schools advising students and parents to contact police if they came across a suspicious person or experienced a similar incident.
BREAK DOWN, BREAK-IN
A mystery remains after a Havelock North teenager's first drive ended with her new car suffering not only in a breakdown but also a break-in.
Belle Rainger's $4000 Peugeot hatchback broke down on September 8 and was left on Waimarama Rd, where it was vandalised.
The windscreen and side windows were smashed, the wheels were taken and $300 worth of tools was stolen.
A police investigation failed to lead to an arrest.
CARS PULLED FROM MEEANEE QUAY
Question marks remain after two stolen cars were pulled from the water in Meeanee Quay, Napier, last September 12.
The police national dive squad searching the inner harbour found the cars, one of which was seen doing burnouts on land shortly before taking a dip, but no forensic evidence was available.
While multiple suspects were interviewed, there was insufficient evidence to identify or prosecute an offender and the investigation was closed.
TAXI DRIVER ASSAULTED
Police remain confident offenders will be held responsible after a taxi driver suffered serious injuries when he was assaulted and robbed by a group of five men in Havelock North last year.
The man in his 40s was assaulted by the group on Brookvale Rd on September 20 , and an electronic tablet was stolen from his vehicle.
Jones said police are following positive lines of inquiry.
An investigation into a Hastings school that was ransacked and trashed in an unprovoked act of destruction has been made inactive pending further lines of inquiry.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu on Albert St, Parkvale, was broken into on December 12, with the culprits damaging the entire contents of several rooms.
Doors, cupboards, TVs and iPads were broken in the school's main office, classroom and kitchen.
A fingerprint was turned up during an extensive scene examination but it did not identify any suspects. The inquiry has been inactivated.
SULPHUR FIRE AT RAVENSDOWN
Police are awaiting further CCTV footage after a large, suspicious sulphur fire that started when a car crashed into a Napier fertiliser plant.
Ten fire trucks were called to the fire at Ravensdown Napier Works on Waitangi Rd in Awatoto on December 13.
An investigation is ongoing, and Jones said additional CCTV may provide new leads.