Alleged fraudster's trail lengthens as new information is revealed

KATHRYN KING
Last updated 11:00 19/07/2014

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New allegations have come to light as Manawatu police hunt for alleged fraudster Michael Chapman.

Palmerston North man Christopher Michael Joseph Chapman, 27, is wanted for fraud offences within the lower North Island, and is believed to have most recently been operating in his home town.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Shelley Ross said police had received calls from the public, including from people alleging further offending, since his picture was first publicised on Wednesday.

Chapman has allegedly driven away in two vehicles from two separate Palmerston North car dealers, after taking them for a "test drive", and failing to bring them back.

One of those vehicles, a black 2002 Mazda Atenza taken on Monday, was recovered parked on a street in the suburb of Kelvin Grove on Thursday.

It was being checked by inspectors yesterday, but was understood to be undamaged.

A blue 2009 Ford Falcon XR6T ute, taken on Saturday, is yet to be found.

Ross said new allegations against Chapman included that he had committed a further offence in the same vein at Hireways on Tuesday, hiring and then not returning a flat deck trailer.

He used the Mazda to tow the trailer, she said.

Chapman has been wanted by police since April, for fraud offending throughout the lower North Island.

Ross said that Chapman also used variations of the alias William Bernard Check.

Anyone with information should contact Acting Detective Sergeant Shelley Ross on (06) 213 9644, or information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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- Manawatu Standard

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