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Town In Lockdown After Man Shoots At Police, Steals Cop Car And Disappears

Publish Date
Friday, 26 August 2016, 6:49AM
A Northland community is in lockdown this morning after a man fired at police, stole a police car and was involved in a car-jacking. Photo / File

A Northland community is in lockdown this morning after a man fired at police, stole a police car and was involved in a car-jacking. Photo / File

An entire community is in lockdown this morning after a man fired at police, stole a police car and was involved in a car-jacking.

The wanted man is now believed to be in Maungaturoto, Northland, where a major operation is underway.

Police are advising residents of Maungaturoto and surrounding areas of significant cordons in place this morning.

Inspector Al Symonds said at 12.43am Police attempted to stop a vehicle in Bank Street, Whangarei.

The driver fled from police initiating a short pursuit before crashing minutes later on Kamo Road in Whangarei.

The male driver got out of the vehicle and fired a shot at two unarmed police officers.

Both officers sought cover and the offender has then stolen an unmarked patrol vehicle.

A short time later the man has stopped two occupants of a vehicle near Raumanga Valley Rd in Whangarei.

He ordered them to get out before he has then stolen their vehicle and headed south on State Highway 1.

He was next seen travelling along State Highway 12 by police where they signalled for the vehicle to stop, however it fled and was last seen near Maungaturoto.

Police located the vehicle on Bikerstaffe Rd soon after.

 

The Police Armed Offenders Squad had been deployed into the area and were currently searching for the man who was believed to still be armed.

His identity was not yet known however he was described as possibly in his late 30s, up to 6ft tall with brown curly hair.

He was wearing a blue t-shirt with white writing and a brown zip up hoodie.

Police currently have the following cordons in place:
- SH1 intersections with SH12
- SH12 at Whakapirau
- SH12 at Hoanga
- SH12 at Mangapai Road
- SH12 at Ford Road

These cordons would remain in place for the time being and motorists were asked to avoid the areas.

The two police officers were unhurt in the incident and are currently being supported by their colleagues.

Local resident Diana Moore told the Herald she had been up since 3am after being woken by the noise of helicopters.

"They've just been searching the whole time, they haven't stopped. They've been circling constantly."

After starting over Maungaturoto's main street, Moore said the helicopters were now flying low nearby over the country club on Bickerstaffe Rd.

"We don't get helicopters up here so it's quite unusual," Moore said.

She wasn't feeling too nervous thanks to the huge police presence in the area, but said she had been "a bit on guard" this morning.

"Hopefully [police] have got it all under control."

NZ Herald