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Wanted man caught
A local man who has been on the run since early March was recently captured following a six hour police chase through the streets and properties of Mangawhai.

Connor Chandler was wanted for breach of bail on burglary charges but had managed to elude police for a month.

However, after receiving information from the public that Chandler was back in the area, Constable Dale Wewege began tracking down the 23-year-old on the foggy morning of March 24, chasing him for more than two hours before calling in reinforcements including police dogs and helicopter Eagle Eye.

Chandler was eventually caught around 3.30pm, cornered in the vicinity of the Kedge Street suburbs and was brought down by a police dog.

“I want to thank the Mangawhai community for their help by supplying information that led to Chandler’s arrest… it was tremendous,” Constable Wewege said. “This time he couldn’t get out of Mangawhai.”


Scammer alert
Police are warning people of an elaborate nationwide scam that nearly claimed a Mangawhai victim.

Senior Constable Graham Gough says the scammers tend to target the elderly, using scare tactics to hand over their bank details.

“A local gentleman received a call from a person saying they were a ‘representative’ from his power company and needed to talk to him about an unpaid bill as his power was in danger of being disconnected,” Gough says. “The caller then asked what bank he was with and said he could connect him directly to his bank to sort out payment. Believing he was actually talking to a representative from his bank, the man then handed over his banking details and credit card numbers. Consequently, money was attempted to be taken out from his account.”

Those targeted in the scam assume the calls to be legitimate due to the caller’s knowledge of personal details. Police believe the scammers may first be hacking into the victims email address to gather this information.

“Don’t trust people who call and ask for financial information like account details and passwords or callers from companies who say they can put you through to your bank. Hang up and contact your bank through the bank’s official website,” Gough says. “If you believe you have been scammed, contact your bank first and, if your accounts have been affected, contact Police.”

Police also advise to validate the caller, don’t share personal details, and if you are threatened simply hang up.


Tagging trouble 
An 18-year-old Glenn Innes man has been apprehended and charged with vandalism after he went on a tagging spree on April 1. The man used pink spray paint to tag a number of properties including Moir Street, Kagan Ave and Halyard Way.

Mangawhai’s Activity Zone’s large skate bowl was also attacked with black spray paint on March 24.

Local skaters who were appalled at the graffiti took it upon themselves to remove the tagging. Their cleaning activity and obvious pride in the skate park, posted on Mangawhai’s Facebook page, impressed producers at TV1’s SevenSharp programme and the group was interviewed and appeared on March 30. Recordings from the park’s security cameras are being reviewed.


Car leaves road - Two Swedish tourists got a fright on April 4 when the vehicle they were driving in slid off the road and into the surrounding steep bush terrain.

The pair were travelling along Cove Road, south of Langs Beach around 11.30am, when they failed to take a bend, rendering the car out of sight momentarily from passing traffic. Heavy rain the night before had left the roads wet and slippery.

Senior Constable Gough, who attended the incident, says that the couple were visibly shaken but not hurt.


GPS, tools stolen
Constable Gough says that while it has been relatively quiet over the last few weeks, there has been a few thefts in the area.

On April 2 a brazen thief stole a TomTom GPS unit in broad daylight from a car parked on private property after smashing the front passenger window.

Tools were also stolen from a Pearson Street address in a separate incident.

- REPORTING/Julia Wade



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