Arrests in armed robbery case near Thames thwart plans for more offending

Thursday 17 March 2011, 8:12AM
By New Zealand Police


A good result for the community is how Thames police describe the arrest of two men and the recovery of two firearms in the town following Saturday's robbery of the Te Puru store.

Thames Sub-Area Manager, Senior Sergeant Graham Shields, said Thames officers, assisted by members of Waikato Armed Offenders Squad, searched three properties in the town yesterday morning.

"Items recovered included clothing and an air rifle we believe are linked to the robbery as well as tobacco products taken from the store and plans detailing how to carry out the offending.

"Two men linked to the addresses were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. They are currently still being interviewed and further charges are likely."

Mr Shields said while Police were thankful they were able to reassure the public that such violent types of offending wouldn't be tolerated in the community officers believe they may have thwarted even more offending.

"Officers also recovered a shotgun and plans for other businesses in the Thames area which is of concern to our staff. Often if an offender commits one offence like this they will continue offending until they are caught.

"The seizure of the shot gun and other plans causes us to believe these two were intending to target other local businesses putting the Thames community at further risk'.

Mr Shields said that the Thames Police had put a lot of effort into solving the offence and they were pleased the offenders had been caught before any further robberies occurred.

"The pair's arrest should send a clear message to offenders that you can't get away with something like this in a small community like Thames, the Police know everyone and the locals were angry that their store had been victimised.

"Once the investigation began it was only a matter of time before we got to the bottom of it, now the pair are looking at prison sentences and all they ever stood to get out of it was a few packets of tobacco."

Mr Shields said both men will appear in the Hamilton District Court today in relation to the robbery.