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Crime spree ends in an arrest

A dramatic crime spree from Masterton to Eketahuna ended in the arrest of a 28-year-old man.
The man is accused of stealing four vehicles, beginning with a brazen theft of a courier van on Thursday afternoon.
The van, full of parcels, was stolen from outside Homegrown Butchers in Kuripuni at 4.20pm.
Later, the van was reported as being driven erratically through Masterton before crashing into a fence at the back of a High St property.

A stolen car was driven through this garage door. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Police found the crashed van at 6.15pm. However, it was locked and the driver was nowhere to be seen.
A police spokesperson said the man then stole a car.
“Police then received a report of another stolen vehicle – a Volkswagen Tiguan TSI R-Line hatchback.
“This car was stolen from a residential address near where the van had been located.
“The car was driven through a garage door by the offender.”
The spokesperson said police later received a sighting of the stolen car on Nireaha Hukanui Rd near Eketahuna. The man had allegedly crashed the car into a ditch, stolen a quadbike from a farm, and was trying to tow the car out.
Police said when the man was unable to get the car out of the ditch, he stole a Toyota Hilux ute from the same farm and left the scene.
Officers in Eketahuna were making inquiries and noticed a flash of red brake lights from behind a building at 1am. A man was then found behind the building in the stolen ute and was taken into custody.
The man appeared in Masterton District Court yesterday facing multiple charges, including a breach of bail. Police said further charges were possible.
Homegrown deli worker Olivia Petersen, who initially called the police, said the courier driver had gone outside and come back in again “as white as a ghost”.
“So I spoke to them [police] for a while.
“I saw the van go past and a man in a hi-vis driving it – it still had all his things inside.
“It’s a crazy world we live in.”
Aramex NZ chief executive Mark Little said the courier driver had gone into a business to collect parcels from a customer.
“The van was unattended for approximately 10 seconds, with the engine running.
“The van and some of the contents have been recovered. About 50 parcels were in the van at the time of the incident. We’re conducting further enquiries into the value of the items as we cooperate with the police investigation.”
Little said that as a result of the incident Aramex would be re-emphasising its policy regarding van security to ensure that drivers were safe and security was in place for parcels.
“Support has been offered by the Regional Franchisees. Our Corporate Wellness Program provides counselling services, free of charge.
“We have reminded the courier that this service is available to him.”

George Shiers
George Shiers
George Shiers is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age interested in politics and social issues. He reports regularly on a range of topics including infrastructure, housing, and transport. George is also the Tararua reporter and helps cover police, fire and court stories.

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