Youths who tried to destroy a CCTV camera while allegedly bashing and robbing an Auckland taxi driver still had their images handed to police.
Although the pair are believed to have torn the in-cab camera from his taxi's windscreen, and snapped a connecting wire during the attack at Glen Innes early on Saturday, the Taxi Federation is thrilled footage had already been saved to a computer located elsewhere in the vehicle.
The bruised and shaken driver, who was alleged dragged out of the cab, had his phone taken but managed to reach a nearby house where he called the police.
Auckland Co-op Taxis compliance manager Michael O'Brien said he was able to pull details including GPS readings from the cab to hand to police by 4.30am on the morning of the attack, after another driver was sent to the scene to support the injured man.
He said today ((Wed)) the cab was impounded as evidence, but on Monday morning he was able to gain access to the camera's central processing unit (CPU) to provide the police with footage showing "very clear images" of the incident.
He understood police had questioned potential witnesses, but did not provide any more details, such as whether any arrests had been made.
"Fortunately, although bruised and shaken, our driver is okay and keen to get back to work and I understand police have questioned some people," he said.
Mr O'Brien said the driver had been sent to a private address after a woman phoned to ask a taxi to collect a group from outside the property as soon as possible.
"The caller does not appear to have been anything to do with the incident," he said.
"The footage shows that he [the driver] had pulled up and was sitting outside when someone opened the passenger door and began rummaging around in the centre case.
"The driver door was then pulled open and he was dragged out.
"There was an altercation between the driver and two people, and then someone got into the car on the driver's side and ripped the camera off the windscreen - which is where the footage ends."
The dashboard was then also torn out, in an apparent bid to reach the CPU, but Mr O'Brien said that was located elsewhere in the taxi "and is not accessible."
"Our driver's personal mobile phone was taken and the driver's side door damaged."
Taxi Federation executive director Roger Heale said assaults on cab drivers had fallen significantly since cameras became mandatory in their vehicles four years ago.
"They act both as a deterrent to criminal behaviour in taxis and provide vital evidence in the case of a complaint or prosecution," he said.
"Unfortunately it sounds as if alcohol may have been a factor on this occasion but the camera still ensured the company has been able to provide police with very useful images of the incident."
A police spokeswoman said police had identified "two offenders and one other suspect in this case".
"One of the alleged offenders was arrested soon after the incident on Saturday morning and investigations are continuing."
He is due to appear in youth court tomorrow, facing charges of aggravated robbery and intentional damage.