Armed robber targets Auckland tourist spots

A man fired shots at a crowded tourist spot in Auckland yesterday afternoon after earlier pointing his pistol at two seperate groups of people in a 30 minute rampage.

Police believe more victims may come forward after the robbery spree between the Auckland Domain Winter Gardens and Mt Eden yesterday afternoon.

At least four people, including tourists, had property stolen.

The offender, described as a Maori or Polynesian man aged in his late 20s to 40s pulled a pistol at two people who he robbed at the gardens, and at a person at the base of Mt Eden as well as a group of tourists at the summit of the volcanic cone.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard told media this afternoon that the offender had driven up to the summit and turned in the car park before pulling over on the side of the road and approaching the tourist group.

The tour operator's bag was taken.Two people tried to wrestle the bag off the offender and chased him to his car before five shots were fired at the ground. One person tried unsuccessfully to get into the stolen royal blue 2012 Holden Commodore that the offender was driving. No one was hurt.

Police are appealing for sightings of the car, registration GPH784, and the offender, including any photos which may have been taken in the area at the time.

Beard said there was a crowd of tourists on the summit between 4.30 and 5pm who may have unknowingly got pictures of the car and offender.

Police would like to see any photos that may aid their investigation.

Anyone who sees the car or the man is asked to call 111 immediately.

If approached by the man, the public should give him what he wants and not argue as he is armed and dangerous, Beard said.

Police are also looking into the theft of the car, which was stolen from a rental company near Auckland Airport on February 6 but only reported missing yesterday.

They have recovered the casings from .22 bullets fired on Mt Eden.