Public help sought to catch armed robber
Police are seeking the public's help in locating an armed offender who fired shots after allegedly robbing tourists at two popular Auckland locations.
A pistol was pulled on three occasions and shots fired five times during a robbery spree at Auckland Wintergardens and Mt Eden on Sunday afternoon.
Police are warning people not to approach the offender who is described as being a 1.8-metre tall Maori or Polynesian man, aged in his late 20s to 40s, with short dark hair.
Four people had property stolen including money, a cellphone and a handbag containing a Taiwanese passport.
Auckland police Detective Inspector Scott Beard says more victims may come forward from the 30-minute long spree which took place between 4.30pm and 5pm.
He says the man approached a tour group at the Wintergardens and pulled out a firearm before stealing a handbag from the tour leader. The man then drove to Mt Eden and pointed a pistol at a person near the base of the mountain before driving to the summit and parking on the side of the road.
He approached a group of people taking photos and grabbed a bag from one of them. Mr Beard says he was challenged and there was a "push and pull" over the bag before he fired five warning shots into the ground.
One person tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the bag from the car before he sped off.
Police have recovered the casings from the .22 bullets and are appealing for sightings of a royal blue 2012 Holden Commodore with the registration GPH784 in Onehunga and Hillsborough since Monday. It was stolen from a rental company near Auckland Airport on February 6 and was found partially burnt out in Onehunga yesterday morning.
Police are keen to see photos taken on Mt Eden which may have captured the man and the vehicle.
"We're relying on the public who were taking photos to come forward."
Police say it is likely, assuming the same man was in possession of the vehicle for the past 13 days, that he would have had to refuel somewhere and park the car in the meantime. Anyone who sees the car or the man is asked to contact 111.
Fairfax NZ News