Police hunting for an armed group of masked intruders who tied up an elderly Levin couple and their son and ransacked their home have found the stolen vehicle.
The stolen Holden Colorado 4x4 was found on the beach front, off the beach access point on Marine Parade, Otaki Beach about 6pm yesterday.
Police are carrying out an examination of the vehicle today and are seeking information from members of the public in relation to any sightings of the vehicle at Otaki beach yesterday morning and any suspicious activity around Marine Parade.
Twelve police investigators and forensic scientists spent the day at the rural market garden property yesterday after the early morning home invasion where guns and cash were among the items taken.
The couple’s son-in-law, John Matangi, who lives nearby, said his father-in-law cycled to his house just after 7am yesterday to call the police, having escaped the bonds placed on him, his wife, both 72, and their son, in his 40s, by five intruders wearing balaclavas.
He told Mr Matangi they had been robbed and were unable to call from their own house, as the intruders had ripped the telephone lines out of the walls, smashed the phones and demanded money.
The trio were then tied up while the intruders went through their small rural home, turning the taps on full and flooding their kitchen and dining rooms.
They complied with all the intruders’ requests, but that didn’t stop them from striking the younger man five times about the face, once with a crowbar, Mr Matangi said.
He was left with a badly swollen face and eye and a bloody cut, but did not need hospital treatment.
They gave the intruders the key to the gun cabinet where they removed two rifles, a shotgun and ammunition.
Cash, personal effects and electronics, including a laptop, were also taken from the house.
Mr Matangi said the trio were ‘‘surprisingly calm’’ after the ordeal, and the main thing was that ‘‘nana and granddad’’ weren’t harmed.
Both of them were lovely people, and he could not think why anyone would want to target their home, he said.
A neighbour of the couple said it was concerning that such a thing could happen so close by, and in daylight hours.
Workers at the nearby gardens were in and out ‘‘pretty much all night and all morning’’, so they did not know who was around, he said.
Levin Detective Sergeant Peter Vine said they believed the intruders arrived and left in a car, also taking a 2009 Black Holden Colorado, registration EZP335 from the property when they went.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Levin police station 06 366 0500 or talk anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Manawatu Standard
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