Operation Falls - Media Release 4
OPERATION FALLS - MEDIA RELEASE 4
New Zealand Police National News Release
4:36pm 16 November 2006
Police in the Bay of Islands area continue to investigate the armed abduction and robbery of a young married Dutch tourist couple in their campervan at about 10 pm on Friday 10th November from the Haruru Falls car park, near Paihia, in the Bay of Islands.
The investigation team of 30 police staff supported by specialist forensic staff are based at the Kaikohe Police Station.
The two male offenders who presented a firearm at the victims, forcing them in their white 1988 Toyota Hiace campervan, then driven the victims' campervan around the Mid North area for several hours are described as:
- Males, possibly Maori, dark complexion, aged 20 - 40 years, both of solid build. There seems to be a slight age difference between the two offenders, the older being more dominant and aggressive in nature. While both are described as being solid build the older of the two offenders is described as the 'more solid' of the pair.
As a result of calls and sightings of the campervan received, Police are now widening their investigation to include the Whangarei City area where the offenders have taken the abducted couple in the early hours of Saturday 11th November 2006, prior to the victims and their campervan being abandoned in Towai Road.
Bank enquires to date indicate that the offenders in this crime have used the victims' bank cards at the ASB ATM Kawakawa between 12 midnight and 6.00 am on Saturday 11th November. Police want hear from any members of the public who may have seen anyone using or in the vicinity of the ASB Cash flow machine on the main road of Kawakawa township early on Saturday morning. Police are also interested in any vehicles seen in the area of the ATM between these hours.
During an examination of surveillance camera video in the Bay of Islands area it has been observed that the campervan containing the victims has driven through the Kawakawa and Moerewa shopping centres between midnight and 1am. It also further appears that the campervan at some stage has been parked in these townships.
While being driven by the offenders in their campervan the abducted tourists have seen a distinctive residential dwelling with a decorated gate and fence in front of it. The residential property is described as having a metal pipe farm style gate with a long length of Christmas style blue tube or snake lighting wrapped around its metal piping frame. Also noted at this address were:
• The blue tub lights were consistently lit and not flashing.
• The lights were wrapped around the metal struts on the gate in a number of different directions, horizontally and vertically.
• A wooden unpainted or poor condition paling fence ran alongside either side of the gate.
• The fence on either side of the gate was about the same height as the gate.
• There were low bushes or shrubs at either end of the fence.
• There was a parking area for vehicles near the front gate and fence• There appeared to be no ditch or open drain in front of the house next to the parking area.
• The house behind the fence appeared to be a light coloured and single storey.
• There appeared to be only a short distance from the fence to the porch house, about 4 to 5 metres.
• There was another Christmas style, lit ornament between the fence and the house, with white and red lights.
• The location of the property is possibly in a semi-rural area.
Police are keen to identify the location of this address and are appealing for public information to indicate its location. It is believed to be in the Moerewa or Kawakawa areas, through to Whangarei city area.
Anyone with information on this property and information on the movements of the campervan can contact the Police Operation Falls base on (09) 405 2966.