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Police want to identify woman who gave a lift to robber

Police want to identify woman who gave a lift to robber

Bay of Plenty, 1 August 2014 - Detectives investigating a robbery in Rotorua are wanting to trace and check the welfare of a woman who appears to have given a lift to the offender.

Work has been carried out to re-trace the steps of the offender after he robbed the Westend Taven on Old Taupo Road around 12.30pm yesterday (Thursday, 31 July). He stole a large sum of cash.

A staff member fended off the robber and a member of the public then chased him into York Street. Further enquiries have revealed that a third person, who witnessed him being chased, also tried to head him off. The offender seeing this man ran across York Street to avoid him and fell over in the road.

At this point a white vehicle travelling along York Street stopped where the offender had fallen. He said something to the female driver and then jumped in the back of the vehicle behind her.

Detective Sergeant Richard Lang said: “We are concerned that this may have been an innocent member of the public thinking she was helping someone in trouble, not knowing he had just committed a robbery. It’s important that we identify who she was, to check on her welfare in the first instance. She may also unknowing hold vital information about yesterday’s events and the offender.”

From witness accounts the vehicle was likely a Honda and possibly had the number ‘8’ in the registration. The female driver is described as probably Polynesian and in her late 30s or early 40s.

The initial description of the offender was 6ft and fat build. Further enquiries suggest he was of a more solid build than fat and more likely around 5ft 8ins to 5ft 9ins tall.

We also know that during the attempts to fend off the offender he received a blow to the head likely to have resulted in some bruising.

If you were the woman in the vehicle or know who she is, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible.

ENDS

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