Police continue search for offender

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 08:46 20/08/2013

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Invercargill police are pursuing new leads in the search for a man who sparked an armed offenders squad callout in Balfour, Southland.

The squad was called to a house on the Lumsden-Riversdale highway yesterday afternoon, in an attempt to locate the 30-year-old Invercargill man in relation to a serious assault.

Police said the squad was involved in case firearms were present, and no shots were fired.

The man had been at the address in the weekend but was not found during the incident.

There had been a few sightings of the man and police were following some new leads, said Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes.

Further inquiries would be made this morning, Mr Raynes said.

Police described the man as Caucasian, 182cm in height, medium-to-solid build with short dark hair and clean shaven.

Although not believed to be a danger to the public, anyone who spotted someone fitting his description should not approach him but call 111 immediately, police said.

MacGregor Motors Balfour owner Alister MacGregor said he saw the incident unfold from his workshop across the road.

He said the armed offenders squad and police surrounded a house where the offender was believed to be from about 1pm onwards, and used a loudspeaker in an attempt to call the offender out.

"They were here at 1pm after half an hour they got themselves in position and so forth.

"(They were) calling '. . . come out we just wanted to talk to you, show yourself in the window'.

"They tried again and again."

MacGregor said then there was a series of small explosions, in what he thought was an attempt to lure the man out.

"Bang bang bang, like letting off fire crackers."

His property was searched during the incident, he said.

MacGregor did not see the offender himself during the three-hour callout.

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