Police arrest 43yo man following aggravated robbery in central Wellington

AMBERLEY, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 10: A police officer stops a car at a checkpoint on April 10, 2020 in Amberley, New Zealand. With New Zealand in lockdown due to COVID-19, police are setting up checkpoints across the country to ensure people on the roads are travelling for essential purposes only. The Easter long weekend is a popular time for New Zealanders to go on holiday, however current Level 4 restrictions in place due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic requires everyone to remain at the place of residence they were in as of midnight 25 March when New Zealand went into lockdown. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)
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Police have arrested a 43-year-old man following an aggravated robbery in central Wellington.

A man who was armed with a handgun pointed it at staff at the Travelex Currency Exchange in Lambton Quay just before 9:20am on Wednesday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Leitch said the man demanded cash and left the premises with an "undisclosed amount of foreign currency".

"The staff members were not injured however have been shaken by the incident and are being supported," Det Snr Sgt Leitch said.

He said later on Wednesday police identified a vehicle of interest in Lower Hutt at around 3:45pm.

"The vehicle was stopped a short time later by armed police on State Highway 58 at the Haywards Interchange," Det Snr Sgt Leitch said.

"Police were armed as a precaution due to the risk of firearms being present in the car."

No customers were in the Travelex store during the robbery.

"Police are appealing to the public to report any sightings of a man described as being tall and thin and of Māori descent, who was wearing dark clothing, a black baseball cap, a mask and a backpack [on Wednesday] morning between 8:30am and 10am in the Lambton Quay and Terrace area," Det Snr Sgt Leitch said.

He said police are wanting to speak to anyone who has seen a 2007 bright red Audi A4 with the registration DZD555 over the past few days, especially in the Wellington CBD between 8am and 10am on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 43-year-old suspect is due to appear in the Wellington District Court on Thursday charged with aggravated robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.