An 18-year-old Onerahi man charged over the latest ram raid of Parua Bay Four Square left the court dock in tears after a judge denied him bail.
Zion Tahitahi appeared in the Whangārei District Court yesterdayjointly charged with the burglary of Parua Bay Four Square and unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle on April 7.
Judge Greg Davis denied bail and remanded Tahitahi in custody to appear again on April 26 when he was being sentenced on other charges. If Tahitahi did not enter pleas to the new charges he would appear again on May 8 when he would be expected to do so.
Tahitahi was flanked by a police escort and spent most of the time wiping tears from his eyes with his black T-shirt, as he glanced at his mother in the public gallery.
The alleged co-offenders Triden Tarawa, who turns 20 on Sunday, and Malachi Tokorangi, 18, both of Onerahi, faced the same charges but were luckier when it came to bail which they were granted on strict conditions including a curfew from 7pm to 7am, not to associate with each other and not to go east of the Onerahi roundabout. They would appear again on May 8.
Police arrested the trio on Wednesday following the ram raid, using a stolen car, on the Parua Bay Four Square at 10pm last Sunday. It was the second ram raid on the business in 10 days. During both raids no tobacco products were taken but thousands of dollars worth of damage was done.
Only four-and-a-half-hours after the Four Square was smashed into, thieves shattered the front door of the neighbouring business Gas Service Station Parua Bay and stole hundreds of dollars worth of tobacco products.
Head of the investigation Detective Sergeant Josh Lautogo thanked members of the public who had responded to the request for information about the the breaki-ns and credited that information with the arrests.
"Thanks to the members of the public who gave us valuable information and enabled us to make the arrests," Lautogo said.
"It shows the community won't tolerate these crimes."
He said officers in the Tactical Crime Unit took these crimes seriously and wanted to hold those committing the crimes accountable.
Lautogo said police were making progress on the other ram raid investigations, including the one at Tikipunga Gas that happened March 29 at 4.05am.
Meanwhile, police enquiries in the Mid North are continuing into a ram raid at surfwear store Rip Curl on Paihia's Williams Rd about 4am on April 1.
In that case about $10,000 worth of watches were taken after a white flat-deck ute was used to smash through a side wall of the store.
Call Kerikeri police on (09) 407 9211 with any information about the raid or suspicious offers of Rip Curl brand watches. Or if you can help with the Whangārei ram raids call Josh Lautogo 09 430 4500 or Crimestoppers 0800555111.