Armed cops pull wanted man from house

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Multiple police officers responded to an incident in Bucklands Beach on February 18. Photo supplied

An eyewitness to a dramatic police operation in east Auckland says he saw multiple armed offices surrounding a house before they stormed it with guns drawn.

A police spokesperson told the Times the incident in Sea Spray Drive, Bucklands Beach, related to an effort to locate a person of interest.

“On the afternoon of Saturday, February 18, police received information to suggest a vehicle linked to the person was at an address on Pakuranga Road,” the spokesperson says.

“Upon leaving the address, [the police’s] Eagle [helicopter] monitored the vehicle as it travelled toward Sorrel Crescent where it was abandoned.

“It is alleged the driver then ran into an address on Sea Spray Drive.

“Due to the nature of the alleged previous offences, police made an armed approach to the address before locating and arresting one male.”

A Bucklands Beach resident who saw the operation unfold and who wishes to remain anonymous says he was walking past the scene when six police cars arrived.

“They tried to block the road at both ends of Sea Spray Drive,” he says.

“They came in completely silently. A police dog handler came about a minute later.

“The Eagle helicopter was circling over the house.

“I counted 15 cops and they all had those big rifles you see on TV.”

The eyewitness says at one point police had the property surrounded.

“They had about 10 guns pointing at the house. There were cops at the back, the side, and the front.

“They were everywhere. It was a massive show of force.”

Officers outside the house yelled instructions at the people inside, telling them to come out with their hands up, the eyewitness says.

He then saw about four police officers enter the property.

“The cop who led the charge into the house had a handgun drawn.

“They pulled two women with babies out and took them to the side of the road.

“Then they pulled a guy out and put him in handcuffs. The guy they apprehended was the last to come out.

“It took a long time to fish him out, maybe 20-30 minutes.”

The eyewitness says the women removed from the property were allowed to re-enter it after the man had been arrested.

“It was quite dramatic. There were maybe 20 neighbours who started coming out of their houses to see what was going on.”

The eyewitness thought the operation may have been connected to the three remand prisoners who escaped custody from a vehicle on Auckland’s Southern Motorway on February 10, but that isn’t the case.

Police said at the time the trio escaped from the vehicle and fled on foot toward the South-Eastern Highway, where they stole a vehicle driven by a member of the public.

Two of the men were found and taken into custody by police on February 14, with the third being found and arrested on February 16.

The police spokesperson says a 40-year-old man appeared in the Manukau District Court on charges relating to burglary and failing to stop following the arrest made at the property in Sea Spray Drive.

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