Manhunt after eleven firearms stolen from Palmerston North police station

Alan James Harris
Alan James Harris Photo credit: New Zealand Police

Investigators are urgently seeking a man who is wanted in relation to the theft of eleven firearms stolen from a Palmerston North police station.

Alan James Harris, 38, is wanted by police in connection to the robbery which took place early on Thursday morning.

The offender was disturbed by a member of police staff in the yard area of the Police station around 7.40am.

He left the scene in a vehicle. Officers have since recovered this and another vehicle linked to the offender.

Police and the Armed Offenders squad have already executed a number of search warrants at Palmerston North addresses over the last 24 hours.

It is believed Harris is in the Central District area.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart says the burglary is being taken very seriously.

"I should be clear that these were not police firearms, but were a range of weapons being held as exhibits or handed in for destruction, " Inspector Stewart says.

Harris is described as European, with dark cropped hair and a slender build.

Police warn he should not be approached.

“Locating Harris is a high priority for Central District Police.  I urge anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward to police," he said.

“A warrant for his arrest has been issued."

Inspector Stewart says the theft is "absolutely unacceptable."

Police Commissioner Mike Bush will be conducting an investigation into how the offender was able to access the police station.

There will also be an immediate audit on security around firearms for all police stations throughout New Zealand.