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Armed Offenders Squad descends on Featherston in a stealth operation

The Armed Offenders Squad descended on Featherston on Wednesday afternoon in a stealth operation that led to an arrest on the town’s main street.

Police confirmed they executed a search warrant at about 2.30pm Wednesday, and a 21-year-old Wellington man was taken into custody.

A local business owner said there was no indication an operation was underway other than a single “whoop” of a police siren.

Minutes later, the forecourt of the Mobil petrol station on State Highway 2 was swarming with the Armed Offenders Squad [AOS] and dog handlers, he said.

“It was impressive.”

He suspected the man had been tracked to Fitzherbert St.

He said there appeared to be four to six AOS officers with firearms and two police dog handlers.

A neighbouring business owner said he noticed numerous police cars and the dogs but said he heard nothing from inside the shop.

“I have no idea what happened.”

Mobil petrol station was approached but declined to comment.

Wairarapa Detective Sergeant Stephen Williamson said the AOS assisted the police in Wednesday’s operation as a precaution.

He said the arrested man had several outstanding warrants and was deemed “a high-risk offender”.

Williamson said the action was deemed appropriate to reduce risk to staff and the public while holding offenders to account.

A police spokesperson could not provide details on the man’s activities or the circumstances of the arrest.

The Wellington man faced a raft of charges, including failing to stop, dangerous driving, and driving while suspended.

He appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday and was remanded in custody to reappear in court on April 26.

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