Six-hour armed stand-off

PETRICE TARRANT
Last updated 13:19 15/07/2014

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A six-hour stand-off between police and an armed man ended without injury.

A 29-year-old man was arrested following the standoff and will appear at Rotorua District Court today where a raft of charges relating to the incident will be laid. 

The armed man was wanted in relation to an aggravated robbery and had been on the run from police for more than two weeks. 

The drama unfolded when the  police armed offenders squad closed down Grace Cr in Tokoroa at 3.30pm yesterday.

Tokoroa Senior Sergeant Graeme Hill said the armed man ignored police requests to surrender.

"When you're dealing with an armed person you can't take any risks."

Police, Fire and Ambulance services stayed at the scene until the man was apprehended at around 10pm. 

Angela Thornton, 81, who lives on the street said police told her to stay indoors.

"Then I heard all this yelling and an armed [offender] knocked on my door and said stay inside and lock your doors."

A couple of "bangs" went off, she said, however they were not gun shots.

Thornton said she had never experienced anything like it in the 30 years she had lived on Grace Cr.

"I just couldn't believe it, I could see them [armed offenders] creeping around...and then I turned my security lights off because I didn't want them going off every time they walked past them."

Thornton had a restless sleep that night.

"They never came and told me it was all over. I didn't think they had found anyone because they were still shining lights up in trees."

Meanwhile another neighbour Mark Biddick, said he was shocked the street wasn't evacuated.

"As far as safety is concerned we weren't happy. If they had a gun we were right in the firing line."

He moved to the address about four months ago and said it had not been an easy week.

"The other night there was a police chase. The police let the sirens rip at about 2am and frightened the bejesus out of all of us. This last week this street has been hard to live in.''

Hill thanked the residents on Grace Crescent who were "hugely inconvenienced", he said.

"Their patience and understanding was much appreciated."

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- Waikato Times

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