Police have arrested a second teenager and a man in connection with a ram raid theft in rural Hawke’s Bay this week, and are hunting for another teen.
One 16-year-old was arrested in the hours following the theft, which saw a ute stolen from Hastings driven to Takapau, south of Waipukurau, and driven at high speed through the front windows of the Four Square store.
The theft occurred at 11.20pm on Monday. The thieves ripped a tobacco cabinet from its wall and drove off with it.
Shortly before this – at about 11pm – police had received a report that the Takapau Tennis Club had been ram-raided in a similar style.
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Police were called after the ram raid. They located the stolen ute, a Toyota Hilux, on State Highway Two and tried to pull it over.
The driver did not stop and Police began to follow. The driver drove onto the Takapau Golf Course where the vehicle rolled on a bank. All five occupants then ran from the scene. A Police dog unit was brough in and located the 16-year-odl.
The other four offenders stole a second vehicle nearby and left the scene.
Detective sergeant John McCarthy said this vehicle was recovered in Napier on Tuesday evening.
He said police had located and arrested a 17-year-old and a 23-year-old. They and the 16-year-old are charged with unlawfully taking a vehicle and burglary. They will appear in court in Hastings next week.
“We are now looking for another 16-year-old and we urge anyone with any information to come forward,” McCarthy said.
Owner of the Four Square store, Harry Singh, said much of the stolen tobacco had been recovered, but some was ruined or still missing, and the cabinet was ruined beyond repair.
Singh said CCTV footage showed the whole theft took just 3-4 minutes.
“They knew what they were doing,” he said.