'Catch me if you can' - message left by fugitive

Escaper Kevin Polwart left a cartoon taunt for police and prison authorities when he cut his way to freedom from Auckland Prison at Paremoremo on Wednesday.

The cartoon drawn on a slab of concrete at the prison features a rabbit, with a hand written caption saying "Catch Me if you Can".

Detective Senior Sergeant Kim Libby, of North Shore CIB , said Polwart was displaying both arrogance and confidence in what was a provocative action to taunt police hunting him.

There have been no confirmed sightings of him since his escape. Relatives and associates are being visited in the search, which takes in other likely destinations where he has known connections such as the Wellington and Northland regions.

Mr Libby said police believed that Polwart would soon start to experience the pressure of being on the run, and would implicate others such as family and associates to help him avoid capture.

"Police appeal to Polwart to hand himself in and we will manage his safe repatriation. Anyone who wilfully assists Polwart to avoid detection or capture will face serious criminal charges."

Meanwhile Armourguard has beefed up security following the escape of Polwart, 49, who was convicted of stealing $600,000 from a security van.

Armourguard general manager Ian Anderson said the company quickly put additional security measures in place after Polwart's escape.

The "safety and protection" of staff was paramount, he said.

Polwart and his brother were sentenced to 10 years in prison after they were convicted of the armed robbery of an Armourguard van in 1999.

"We reiterate the police warning that members of the public should not approach Kevin Polwart," Mr Anderson said.

His latest escape was similar to a previous break out from Upper Hutt's Rimutaka Prison in 2001, when he used wire cutters.

During his 41 days on the run, he carried out an armed robbery of a security van in Auckland, stealing $600,000 in cash and cheques.

On Wednesday Polwart escaped by using an angle grinder to cut through a steel fence around a concrete yard in which he was working.

He was 14 months away from parole on a 16-year sentence.

Corrections Department national operations manager Robin Benefield said Polwart had been working in the yard for more than eight months.

Polwart is described as a medium built Maori, 165cm tall.

If sighted Polwart should not to be approached. Anyone with information on his whereabouts was urged to call police immediately on 111.

Anonymous information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

NZPA

 

source: newshub archive