One of two Far North men arrested in relation to a gun-point robbery at Waipapa Superette tried to escape on horseback before police caught him.

The alleged offenders, aged 21 and 22, were arrested after police searched homes at Okaihau and nearby Rahiri Settlement this morning.

Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston, of Mid North police, said the man located at Rahiri Settlement jumped on a horse and tried to flee.

''However, a couple of our officers are experienced rural people and had no problems apprehending and controlling the equine escapee.''


A horse chase was not necessary, he added.

The men had been charged with a variety of offences including aggravated robbery. Police believed they were also involved in a recent spate of car thefts and burglaries.

They are due in the Kaikohe District Court tomorrow.

The Waipapa Superette robbery occurred about 4.30pm on November 10 when two men entered the store armed with a rifle or air gun and a hammer.

At the time police said one offender "waved his rifle up and down the aisle" while the other emptied the Lotto till, jumped the counter and emptied the cigarette cabinet. They also stole SPCA and Kidney Kids charity boxes.

Four children were in the shop at time.

The pair fled north on State Highway 10 in a car stolen earlier from a locked garage in Okaihau and later found abandoned on Puketi Rd.

The offenders had their faces covered but a man wearing the same clothing and driving the same car was captured on service station CCTV in Whangārei earlier that day.


Also today, police arrested a 16-year-old Okaihau youth for allegedly acting as the getaway driver for the armed robbery of Okaihau Liquor Store in September. He faces other burglary and vehicle-related charges and will appear in Kaikohe Youth Court tomorrow.

The two other arrestees did not try to escape on horseback but one was found hiding under a couch while the other ''tried to secrete himself in bushes''.

Johnston said the arrests were the result of weeks of intensive investigation.

"It's great to see all these crimes solved and the alleged offenders located today. Both of these armed robberies were extremely dangerous events, putting people's lives at risks."

"We've notified the victims of this update and they are pleased and relieved to hear news of the arrests."

The arrests were further examples of great work by Northland police and showed their commitment to finding those behind dangerous offending.

''We want to reassure the community that we take these crimes seriously. Our message to any offenders is clear — we will do everything we can to hold you to account over your actions," he said.