Police operation in Mt Albert linked to fugitive Rollie Heke
Police armed offenders squad have pulled back after staking out a Mt Albert home for more than four hours in the search for fugitive Rollie Heke.
A police spokesperson said they had reason to believe Heke may have been at an address on Cassino Terrace.
However, Heke was not found and the search has been "completed without incident".
"Police remain hopeful that this situation will resolve peacefully and strongly encourage Heke and Irene Scanlon to present themselves to police," said the spokesperson.
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Residents reported hearing gunfire from as early as 3pm on Saturday.
A neighbour at the scene said she heard negotiations between police and occupants of the Cassino Terrace house from 3.30pm.
"They cordoned the whole street off and were calling out to Rollie Heke over loud speaker," she said.
She believed police tear-gassed the home: "I heard the window smash".
"It was pretty hardcore".
Houses in the cul-de-sac had been evacuated during the negotiations, due to concerns that Heke could have been armed.
Another resident, who did not want to be named, said they heard police and occupants of the house "exchanging fire".
A woman who lives across the road from the house said police warned all residents to stay inside with their windows shut and curtains drawn.
She said it is "a bit of a dodgy house" but didn't know the occupants personally.
The cordon at Hendon Avenue and Hargest Terrace had been lifted as of 7.15pm, but police armed with rifles remained at the scene.
Police cars also parked outside Owairaka Primary School and Murray Halberg park while a helicopter has been hovering over the area.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said fire crews were assisting police, but would not comment further.
Heke has been on the run for months after cutting off his electronic monitoring bracelet.
Last Sunday he fired a barrage of shots at police officers with a military style semi-automatic gun following a car chase in Morrinsville.
He fled the scene, and a national alert was put in place on Wednesday after police determined it was unlikely he was still in the Waikato area.
Heke is believed to be armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.
Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Heke or Scanlon is asked to contact the toll free number dedicated to this investigation: 0800 800 493.