Search warrants carried out in relation to aggravated robbery of French tourists

Friday 4 June 2010, 11:23AM
By New Zealand Police


Northland Police carried out eight search warrants early yesterday in relation to the aggravated robbery of three French tourists, which occurred last month.

The tourists were attacked in the early hours of Friday May 21 as slept in their camper van at a small lay-by on State Highway One, just south of Mangamuka settlement.

Two of the three tourists were assaulted, with one losing a tooth in the incident. A quantity of property and cash was taken from them.

During yesterday's searches, which were carried out in the Okaihau and Horeke areas, police recovered a quantity of drugs, counterfeit money and a firearm.

Later in the day the tourists' stolen camera, a Reflex Canon EOS 20D in its black camera bag, valued at about $4000, was recovered.

A number of people of interest to the enquiry were located and interviewed by detectives and substantial inroads into the inquiry have been made.

One of those interviewed was arrested on unrelated matters.

Kaitaia CIB Detective Mark Dalzell said it was pleasing to recover the camera for the tourists, however there is some other property still outstanding, which the enquiry team is eager to locate. This includes a 3GS I - phone and a black shiny slip on cover.

Mr Dalzell said it was evident that the camera may have passed through a number of people prior to its recovery and these people are being looked at to determine whether they are liable for the criminal receiving of the camera or being an accessory after the fact of aggravated robbery.

He cautioned people who may fit into this category to contact police as soon as possible, "or they may find us knocking on their door."

Mr Dalzell said there was more work to be done in the mid and far north area over the next week, but was confident of a positive outcome.

We are still looking for a small number of individuals and I would encourage them to come forward.

Police are still keen to hear from anyone who can offer them information about this crime. Contact can be made through a member of the enquiry team on 0274 969971 or 09 408 6500 or alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

For further information contact Northland Police Communications Officer Sarah Kennett on 09 430 4525 or 027 494 1214.