'Vigilante' action not right way - police

Last updated 13:00 19/11/2013

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Police are criticising the "vigilante" tactics of a group of motorists who sought to recover a car stolen from a car show at Motueka.

About 100 motorists went to a Stoke property on Friday night where they believed people involved in the theft of a Nissan Skyline GTR lived, Sergeant Shane Miles said.

The behaviour quickly deteriorated during the confrontation in which two vehicles were damaged and a man was allegedly assaulted with a bat, Sergeant Miles said.

A 38-year-old man from Lower Hutt was arrested after the incident.

He faces charges of assault and intentional damage.

Police said they had been alerted via social media to a large gathering of people in Stoke about 9pm on Friday.

The group, which numbered about 100 people mostly in cars, went to a Homer St address shortly before 10pm where it was intent on recovering the Skyline GTR which had been stolen from the 4s and rotary South Island championship at Motueka the previous weekend, police said.

"Police acknowledge people have the right to peaceful protest, but confronting people in this manner is not the way to resolve issues," Sergeant Miles said.

Anyone with information about stolen cars should contact the police or Crimestoppers, rather than take matters into their own hands, he said.

The Skyline was recovered the next day.

The Nelson Mail spoke with Brian Ingham, the Nissan's registered owner, who said he was glad to be reunited with his car.

Mr Ingham, who works at Steven's Automotive in Motueka, said he could not say any more about the circumstances in which the car was recovered.

An associate of Mr Ingham's posted about the incident on Facebook: "Well, that was a bigger turn out than 4s n rotors lol".

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- The Nelson Mail

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