Eight young 'prolific offenders' arrested for multiple aggravated robberies in Waikato

  • 11/01/2024
A total of eight offenders aged between 14 and 20 years old were arrested.
A total of eight offenders aged between 14 and 20 years old were arrested. Photo credit: Newshub.

Police have arrested eight young offenders responsible for a string of aggravated robberies in Waikato.

Police launched Operation Smelter which targeted a group of "prolific offenders" responsible for multiple aggravated robberies, plus commercial and retail burglaries in the region.

The operation has had immediate success, with arrests made, charges laid and stolen goods recovered, police said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, officers executed a series of warrants in Hamilton and Thames.

As a result, a total of eight people aged between 14 and 20 were arrested and appeared in Hamilton Youth Court on Thursday to face charges including aggravated robbery, burglary and unlawfully taking, police said.

Police searched several properties in Hamilton, where the alleged offenders were arrested and charged with the aggravated robberies of the Gull service station in Thames and Mobil service station in Hamilton.

At the same time, Thames CIB executed a warrant in Thames, where further evidence was obtained in relation to the aggravated robbery of the Gull in Thames.

Two others believed to be involved in recent crimes were arrested in Whanganui overnight.

"Waikato Police hope that this action underlines our commitment to locate, arrest and bring offenders before the courts," a police spokesperson said.

"We want to send a clear message that the actions of this small number of repeat offenders are not acceptable, they will be located and held to account."