A Whangarei residential street was under police lockdown for more than three hours as officers carried out a search warrant of a home in relation to a series of armed robberies around the city.

The Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) were in the street to help other police staff carrying out the search in McMillan Ave, in Kamo, yesterday.

One resident said she woke to a voice calling over a loud hailer to the residents of a house surrounded by the AOS to "come out with their hands up" about 6.30am.

"I opened the curtains and saw those AOS guys in black surrounding that house. At some point they started throwing rocks on the roof and yelling at them."


The police appeals for the people to come outside lasted for nearly two hours, she said.

She was able to leave the street to take her children to school but when she returned police were stopping all traffic from entering McMillan Ave.

Police made no arrests at the Kamo house but a simultaneous search warrant carried out in Raumanga, resulted in the arrest of one man who was charged with receiving. The cordon on McMillan was removed at 9.45am.

Northland police spokeswoman Sarah Kennett confirmed the warrants were in relation to a recent series of armed robberies.

The robberies at gun point included Tikipunga Super Liquor and the Whangarei Liquor centre on Maunu Rd, which was robbed twice within a month.

Police would not say how many staff had been involved in yesterday's operation.

However, Mrs Kennett said as police were conducting the search warrants in relation to armed robberies they took the precaution of using the AOS to support staff at the warrants.

The AOS is a specialist unit of the police designed to "cordon, contain and appeal to" armed and dangerous offenders.


At one point a neighbour said he counted seven police vehicles in the street.

"I woke up to yelling and there were police cars everywhere," he said.