Court stoush leads police to stolen war medals

Stolen war medals have been found at the home of a gang member arrested after a violent struggle with police in Manukau last Thursday.

The South Auckland gang member was wanted for allegedly breaching his parole and leading police on a chase through South Auckland on an stolen motorcycle.

Police say the chase went from Mahia Rd in Manurewa to Takanini before the man crashed into a truck and fled the scene on foot, avoiding the police Eagle helicopter and going into hiding for a week.

Sergeant Mark Fleming of the Counties Manukau road crime unit says the man was then spotted by an officer at Manukau District Court last Thursday where he was trying to resolve an outstanding warrant for allegedly breaching his probation conditions.

The officer called in reinforcements and when the man saw them, he "started getting quite agitated", leaping over benches to evade capture before heading for the door, knocking over the metal detector and security screening on his way out.

As officers chased him he leapt over the barrier on to Manukau Station Rd and into the Westfield shopping centre car park, trying car doors and attempting to get keys off people in the carpark.

"But the pursuing officers managed to catch up with him and there was quite a violent struggle.

"He was pepper-sprayed and a baton was used to subdue him and he was eventually overpowered and arrested in the car park," Mr Fleming says.

Police later searched his home where officers found drugs and a bag of allegedly stolen war medals wrapped in a towel in the loft, including World War II campaign medals, an OBE and commemorative coins.

Mr Fleming says some of the property has been identified and returned to its owners and police hope to identify the medals and their owners soon.

The man faces charges including resisting police, escaping from lawful custody, possession of methamphetamine, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and for police, receiving stolen property, unlawfully taking a motorcycle, operating it recklessly and driving while disqualified. – Fairfax NZ News

Manukau Courier