Men lured to be robbed at gunpoint

Two men escaped armed attackers today after they were lured to an abandoned property on the outskirts of a Tararua town under the guise of selling them a car.

When the men arrived at the Woodville property, just before 3pm today, they were instead held up at gunpoint.

Police Detective Sergeant Shane Brown of Tararua CIB said there were three or four men involved in the attempted armed robbery.

‘‘When they met up they have presented a firearm and they said ‘Give me the money’,’’ said Brown.

"From there the victims have run away and have not given them any money.

"One of them ran across a paddock and hid and the other got in a car and took off — it’s very scary.’’

Police were called to the abandoned house off State Highway 3 near the Papatawa Bridge, and the armed offenders squad attended.

The victims were unknown to their attackers and there had been no similar incidents reported to police in the area in the past six months, Brown said.

‘‘I don’t believe this was drug-related, it was more about money,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a pre-arranged meeting — they were going to buy a vehicle and they obviously had cash with them.

‘‘They had been contacted by this person who said he had a vehicle for sale. They went to buy it with cash and there was no vehicle. [Then] these guys obviously tried to steal the money.’’

It is believed there may have been a fourth offender who was possibly a getaway driver.

Police expected to release more information regarding the offenders’ descriptions and their getaway vehicle tomorrow.