27 Apr 2019

Man arrested after firearms burglary at Palmerston North police station

5:33 pm on 27 April 2019

The man wanted in relation to a firearms burglary at the Palmerston North police station has appeared in the city's District Court.

Alan James Harris.

Alan James Harris. Photo: Supplied / NZ Police

Alan James Harris, 38, was being sought following the incident, in which 11 guns were stolen, on Thursday morning.

He was arrested this morning and is charged with entering the Palmerston North police station without authority, with intent to commit an imprisonable offence in that building.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

During the court appearance, his duty lawyer Mark Alderdice opposed all media applications, saying they should be dealt with by a judge once Mr Harris has his own lawyer.

The court agreed.

Legal aid has been applied for.

Justice of the Peace Trieste Te Awe Awe remanded Mr Harris in custody. His next court appearance will be on 21 May.

Earlier police said Mr Harris was found on the street in Palmerston North's central city, after a member of the public had identified him.

Police said security has been beefed up at the station with further work still to be done.

They are still searching for the firearms that were stolen.

The guns were taken while staff were working at the station. Some had been handed in for destruction, others were to be used as exhibits or evidence for court cases and the police are still working through how their disappearance will affect their chain of evidence.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said locating the firearms continues to be a high priority.

"While an arrest has been made, it is very important that anyone with information which will assist us in locating the firearms makes contact with us."

"Anyone with information can contact the Palmerston North Police directly on 0800 351 3600.

"Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.