A team of detectives have cracked a number of aggravated robberies that struck Waikato businesses over the past two months.
On Thursday, detectives and members of the Waikato Armed Offenders Squad (AOS) went to an Ellery St house in Ngaruawahia in relation to the aggravated robbery of the Workingmen's Club TAB in Frankton on April 12, crime services co-ordinator, Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall, said.
"While there a 17-year-old man was arrested in relation to the robbery and for the burglary of a Rodney St, Hamilton, address in which eight firearms were stolen."
Keall said officers also arrested a 21-year-old man in relation to an unrelated burglary while a third man was arrested in relation to outstanding warrants to arrest.
Other detectives have been investigating the robbery of a Caltex service station in Paeroa earlier this month and last week's robbery of the Mobil Service Station in Thames.
Yesterday morning officers and the AOS searched four Thames properties and spoke to several suspects before arresting one man and two women aged between 17 and 23-years old.
Keall said items of clothing believed linked to the robberies and small amounts of cannabis and methamphetamine were also recovered, and police are conducting a forensic examination of a car.
"These latest arrests shows the logic in applying a whole of district approach to serious crime. It also highlights the risks posed to the public around drugs and illegally held firearms and how offenders will use any means to help fund and feed their illicit drugs habits."
Investigators are still working to identify a second offender from the Paeroa robbery and would like to speak to any witnesses who haven't already spoken to police.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Martyn Hughes at the Thames Police Station on 07 858 6200.
- Waikato Times