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Police have arrested two men following the vandalism of memorial items left outside the shop of slain Paeroa businessman Jordan Voudouris, but believe the damage is not connected to his murder.
Detective Senior Sergeant Michael Whitehead said two local men, aged 38 and 42, had been charged with wilful damage and theft and would appear in the Waihi District Court next Tuesday (3 July).
However, he stressed there was no indication at this stage the pair had any involvement with Mr Voudouris' death.
“Police are still following a number of lines of inquiry in the search for Jordan’s killer, and it was important to investigate this damage in case there was a link to the homicide. But at this stage, it doesn’t appear there is any connection between these two events. That said, it is frustrating that mindless behaviour like this can divert investigators from their primary focus of finding the person or people responsible for Jordan’s murder.”
Mr Whitehead said this meant it was more important than ever that anyone who may have information useful to the inquiry should come forward, and “not jump to conclusions” or be distracted by events that did not have any apparent connection to the murder.
“The vandalism is just another piece of the picture that at this stage appears unconnected to Jordan’s death. That’s why it’s still extremely important that anyone with information that could help us makes contact with Police. Even the most seemingly insignificant piece of information may be the vital clue that leads us to the killer.”
Mr Whitehead said Police were continuing to receive regular pieces of information which were proving helpful, as was information gained from reviewing CCTV footage, which had been useful in confirming timing of events with witnesses.
“We thank all of those people who have come forward or provided tips and other information, and ask that it keeps coming. It is highly likely that someone from the local community has information that will lead us to solving this crime, and we urge them to come forward.”
Meanwhile, Mr Whitehead said more investigators were being brought in to help with inquiries, with 27 officers now working on the case.
He reiterated that Police were not yet prepared to reveal the details of Mr Voudouris’ fatal injuries, as the information could still prove key to catching the offender and solving the homicide.
“We understand that there is significant media and public interest in how Jordan has died, and appreciate that people are looking for answers. While we aren’t able to disclose those details at this time, I would like to reassure the Pareoa community and the public at large that the inquiry team are continuing to make steady progress on our inquiries.
“We ask that people please be patient while we carefully work through the inquiry, and again stress that if anyone has information that may be helpful – particularly anyone who may have been in central Paeroa between 10pm on Sunday 17 June and 6am Monday 18 June – to please come forward.”
The Police can be contacted at the Paeroa Police Station on 07 862 8744.
Alternatively information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.