Police have made an arrest in relation to the disappearance of Tauranga man Harley Shrimpton.
Bay of Plenty field crime manager Detective Inspector Lindsay Pilbrow said this afternoon that the police still held “significant concerns” for Shrimpton’s wellbeing.
Shrimpton was reported missing by family members on November 17. Police have since made “extensive inquiries to locate him”.
The 28-year-old was last seen getting into a blue Toyota Prius in the McDonald’s carpark in Mount Maunganui on the afternoon of November 3.
Pilbrow said the car was taken the day before from the Bellevue, Tauranga area and had since been recovered by police.
“Due to these circumstances, and a lack of other sightings, police believe Mr Shrimpton may have been the victim of foul play,” Pilbrow said.
“We are seeking any information from the public in relation to Mr Shrimpton’s disappearance, or current location.”
Police also sought sightings of the blue Prius from November 2 until November 5.
“Mr Shrimpton’s family are extremely distressed by his disappearance, and desperate to locate him and bring him home.”
Throughout today and yesterday, several properties in Western Bay of Plenty had been searched with the assistance of specialist squads and forensic experts.
“Police are aware that a number of people will have knowledge of what happened, including Mr Shrimpton’s current location and the circumstances around his disappearance,” Pilbrow said.
“We’re appealing to those people to contact us directly, confidentially if necessary, to provide any information they may have that could assist.”
Previously, Shrimpton’s family told the Bay of Plenty Times they were ‘‘absolutely devastated’' and had major concerns for the young man.
“This is an extremely hard time for our family and we’re doing everything we can to find Harley. On behalf of the family, we appreciate the community’s support in trying to help locate Harley and his whereabouts,” Shrimpton’s cousin said.
“We aren’t 100 per cent sure, but it’s highly likely Harley was wearing long black jeans, a white T-shirt and a black cap.”
Harley’s cousin said the police had been “amazing” with the investigation so far and were keeping in contact regularly.
“We appreciate their support.”
The investigation would continue until Shrimpton had been found and any criminal actions had been held to account.
Information can be passed to police via the 105 phone service, or by going online to https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105 and using ‘Update Report’, referencing file number 231117/9085.
Alternatively, information can be passed to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-nz.org
A 21-year-old man was due in the Tauranga District Court today charged with kidnapping.