4 Apr 2024

Watch: Police swarm Auckland bar to arrest pair in relation to kidnapping

7:06 am on 4 April 2024

Two people have been arrested after a kidnapping in Auckland's North Shore on Tuesday night.

Earlier, police had been on the hunt for three people they believed to be involved in forcing a woman into a car from a house in the suburb of Beach Haven just before 7.30pm on Tuesday. She was later found injured in Greenhithe.

Detective Inspector Callum McNeill said two people were taken into custody after being found in central Auckland on Wednesday afternoon.

"Our investigation has been progressing throughout the day, and we have been speaking with the pair late this afternoon."

Footage provided by Auckland businessman Leo Molloy showed two people were arrested in one of his bars - the Headquarters bar on Customs Street in central Auckland.

He said he was at home when staff rang him and told him about the arrests.

"Two people came in, took a seat in a quiet corner, a female walked over to the lobby shop to get Lotto tickets, before she got back the police swarmed the place.

Molloy said he visited the bar after the arrests to check on the other patrons and staff, but they were undisturbed.

A 32-year-old man from Dairy Flat is facing multiple charges, including kidnapping, wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, commission of a crime using a firearm and burglary with a firearm.

A 28-year-old woman from Bayview has been arrested in relation with outstanding warrants, and also faces a charge of failing to carry out obligations relating to a computer search.

McNeill said further arrests could not be ruled out.

"The investigation will continue, and while matters are before the court, what I can say is that we do not believe this was a random incident."

The pair will be appearing in the North Shore District Court on Thursday.

Police said the victim was recovering from her injuries in hospital.

"She will have a long road to recovery, and we will be looking to speak further with her around what has occurred."

Police thanked those who have helped in their investigation, and they said staff would continue to be present in the Beach Haven area and provide reassurances to community.

Police at the scene of a reported kidnapping on Auckland's North Shore, 3 April, 2024.

Police at the scene of a reported kidnapping on Auckland's North Shore, 3 April, 2024. Photo: Jordan Dunn / RNZ

Residents describe 'scary' situation

One neighbour, who RNZ have agreed not to name, was home when the situation unfolded in Beach Haven on Tuesday.

"There was a woman and a couple of small kids, primary school aged kinda kids, and very shortly afterwards a couple of teenagers ran out into the street, obviously all in a state of distress and confusion," she said.

"They said people with guns were in the house, so I said 'Right, you need to get off the street, come inside,' took them all inside to my house, and we called 111."

The neighbour didn't see the kidnapping, which left a woman requiring hospital treatment after she was found in the nearby suburb of Greenhithe.

The residents who had fled stayed at the neighbour's home until the coast seemed to be clear ... but she insisted the children remain with her until they were sure it was safe.

"While mum and the teenagers where off dealing with what they needed to do and talking to the police and everything, the kids stayed with me," the neighbour said.

She said the children's father was able to make it through the police cordon, and stayed with them.

"We just waited until the police said 'Yes, you can head on home now'."

Martin has lived in Beach Haven for 40 years. He said he first heard a helicopter flying above the street last night.

"I got a phone call from my son who was trying to get home, he was telling me there had been a bit of a confrontation at the corner there and they'd blocked off the roads and he wasn't able to get back," he said.

"So he was sitting at the roadblock [...] and waiting to come home."

Another resident, Alexandra, said it used to be a quiet neighbourhood.

"I've been back in Beach Haven for just over a year now, and it's got really bad, crime-wise it's got really bad," she said.

"It's getting quite scary actually."

She described the police response at the scene.

"There was about nine police cars, and they blocked off part of Sunnyhaven [Avenue] there, and there was armed police," said Alexandra.

"That was quite scary, you know, when you've got police walking around with these great big guns."

Alexandra said crime in the area was affecting her day-to-day.

"I'm getting to a stage where I'm not wanting to go anywhere, and that's not good," she said.

"Especially at night, I won't even go to the shop at night."

The neighbour who looked after the woman and children who fled the house praised the police officers involved.

"The police have been absolutely amazing," she said.

"Really, big thanks to the police, they've done a great job."

The neighbour said she was still trying to process what happened.

"This is the sort of thing you see on TV, it's not something you think is going to happen in your street, or next door to you, or to people who've been your neighbours for a long time," she said.

"There is a real sense of un-reality about it."

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