12 Oct 2004

Cook Islands police appeal to public over abduction of bank manager

2:05 pm on 12 October 2004

Police in the Cook Islands are appealing to the public to come forward with any further information over the abduction of a bank manager and attempted robbery.

Detective Inspector Clemens Matapo says three New Zealand police officers have joined the team, which is now 15 strong.

Three masked men, armed with knives, abducted ANZ bank manager, Gayle Stapleton, from her home and drove to the bank in an attempt to break in but were foiled and the manager was left unharmed.

Detective Inspector Matapo says they've not identified any of the suspects but they're not ruling out any possibilities.

"We've completed examining the scene. The victim's house has been cleared and we've returned the house back to the victim. And, at the same time, we've also completed the vehicle that was involved in this particular incident. We're also seeking the assistance of the general public in relation to any sightings of the vehicle outside the bank."

Detective Inspector Matapo says security at the bank is being tightened.