Simon Allan Kerr, the former leader of the "Hole in the Wall" gang, was arrested last night after almost two years on the run.

Northland police communications officer Sarah Kennett said 12 officers from Northland and Bay of Plenty found the 50-year-old career criminal in Pukehina, south of Tauranga.

"They went to an address in Pukehina and surrounded the house. He did try to run, but then went back into the house and gave himself up," Ms Kennett said.

"I understand he was arrested with the help of tip offs from the public."


Kerr appeared in the Tauranga District Court this morning facing one attempted burglary and seven burglary charges of commercial premises involving about $200,000 worth of goods.

He was remanded in custody and will appear in the Whangarei District Court next Tuesday.

Kerr was once the leader of the Hole in the Wall gang that used to break through walls and steal safes.

He also made headlines in 1994 with a 12-day protest on top of Mt Eden Prison.

- Herald Online staff