Police have defended their actions at an armed search of a wreckers' yard in Hamilton for a Mongrel Mob member where staff had assault rifles "breathing down" their necks and a dog was struck.

A "completely unexpected" series of events confronted Riverlea Wreckers workers on Friday, as they were raided by the police Armed Offenders Squad at 4.45pm.

The police were searching for a Mongrel Mob member who had walked into the Hamilton wreckers to buy a tyre two hours earlier.

Riverlea Wreckers owner Bryce Lovegrove said there was so much yelling and screaming "stand up, sit down" you didn't know what to do.

"They kicked our dog in. He can hardly walk now. We had AK47s breathing down our necks, half a dozen of those hanging over you, it's a bit scary.

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"Then paraded us all up the highway. It was like I was a criminal because they put cable ties around all our hands. It had nothing to do with us.

"It was like 'hang on a minute mate, what's going on here?'. People were driving past with their cameras and taking footage.

"They stayed until 6pm. Like 5pm on Friday, real handy for everyone to see. I'm not a bad bloke really."

Police said their actions followed standard procedures which are in place to ensure the safety of those present at the premises, members of the public in the near vicinity and their own staff.

A dog at the premises was struck as it attacked a police dog. The police dog suffered an injury as a result and needed veterinary treatment, a police statement said.

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The man the police were after was 28-year-old Mongrel Mob gang member Cody Keenan, who had been on the run this week for a series of violent, firearms and driving offences.

Keenan had grabbed headlines for his huge "Mighty Mongrel Mob" tattoo covering the bottom half of his face, and his reputation for evading police custody.

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Still being hunted by police, Keenan dropped into Riverlea Wreckers in Tamahere around 3pm to buy a new tyre for his white early 2000s model Holden Commodore.

Armed police officers pointing guns at about five people at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied
Armed police officers pointing guns at about five people at Riverlea Wreckers. Photo / Supplied
Riverlea Wreckers owner Bryce Lovegrove.
Riverlea Wreckers owner Bryce Lovegrove.

Lovegrove said he was none the wiser to Keenan's identity.

"He came down specifically to buy a tyre for his car. He just bought it and left," Lovegrove said.

"I just said you've got to move your car out of the tyre shop, we've got other work to do. And so he just hopped in his car and left. He was just as good as gold."

Lovegrove said around two hours later the Armed Offenders Squad dramatically arrived.

Riverlea Wreckers owner Bryce Lovegrove said the negative publicity for his business was extremely unwelcome.
Riverlea Wreckers owner Bryce Lovegrove said the negative publicity for his business was extremely unwelcome.

Police Senior Sergeant Phil Ruddell said Keenan was taken into custody overnight on Friday in Cambridge without any issue.

Keenan appeared in Hamilton District Court on Saturday.

Last year Kennan also managed to skip arrest after jumping into the Waihou River to flee pursuing officers but was eventually tracked down.

Lovegrove said the negative publicity for his business was extremely unwelcome, and that police "absolutely" did not provide any apology for the raid.

"It was absolutely nothing to do with the business, and we got all that publicity which no business needs. It's quite disturbing really," Lovegrove said.

"Nothing has really been said about the fact he was only a customer. And you know what I try to do good around here - but you know what it's always the wrecking yard.

"And what I can't work out is they said it was a planned operation. The guy comes down and buys a tyre and three hours later that happens."

The police have not apologised to Lovegrove for the raid and their actions.