Public warned to steer clear of Mongrel Mob member who has access to firearms

Hamilton police are warning the public not to approach a patched Mongrel Mob member who has an extensive criminal history and is wanted after a violent domestic dispute in Tokoroa at the weekend.

Detective Senior Sergeant Karl Thornton of the Hamilton CIB said an arrest warrant had been issued for Kelly Te Aroha Smith.

The 43-year-old allegedly assaulted his female partner at a Tokoroa house on Sunday.

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"Smith has an extensive criminal history and access to firearms and has threatened to use them," said Mr Thornton yesterday.

"As a result of this and following information developed by our inquiry team, Hamilton detectives, backed up by members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad and the Auckland-based Police Eagle Helicopter, searched a Waiterimu property this morning."

Smith is a Maori, 1.76m in height, of solid build with a bulldog tattoo on his forehead and a large letter "M" and a Maori design on his neck and throat.

Mr Thornton said that while it appeared Smith had been at the Waiterimu address, he remained at large and should not be approached.

"Smith has an extensive criminal history, much of it for violent offending. We urge anyone who sees this man not to approach him but to ring 111 immediately."

The Sensible Sentencing database shows that Smith was found guilty in 1993 of charges involving rape, unlawful sexual connection and assault, and penetration with a bottle and a hammer during a pack rape of three Rotorua women in 1992.

The offences occurred at the gang's Sala St headquarters in Rotorua.

Smith was among nine Mongrel Mob members who were sentenced in the High Court at Auckland to a total of nearly 80 years.

If you have information about Smith, phone Mr Thornton at Hamilton Central police station on 07 858-6200.