A grandmother whose Sunday breakfast was interrupted by an
armed intruder says she initially thought the man was a drunk
looking for a ride.
The 51-year-old was making eggs on toast for her 8-year-old
son and 12-year-old grandson yesterday morning at her
Kihikihi home near Te Awamutu when a man appeared at her
kitchen asking for car keys.
"I didn't know he had come in here because the ranchslider
was open. Of course, I refused to give him the car keys and
next thing I know ... he says to me 'I've got a gun'. "I
yelled up to my husband who was upstairs sleeping but he
didn't hear me."
The woman, who did not want to be identified for safety
reasons, then went into her 32-year-old son's room next to
At that time, her younger son was still at the table waiting
for breakfast, but the 12-year-old had disappeared upstairs,
"I thought he was a drunk coming in asking for car keys. It
didn't really register, I didn't really believe him," she
"I think I was more in shock than scared ..."
After her elder son got out of bed and fetched his car keys,
the intruder - who had followed her into his room while
saying he had a gun and was "holding his hand down by his
hip" - snatched them from him, found the car and left, she
The family, which included the woman's 51-year-old husband
and 22-year-old daughter, were then evacuated from their Hall
St home after police found a jacket on the fence believed to
contain a homemade bomb, she said.
Last night, Detective Senior Sergeant Daryl Smith said
officers were hunting the offender, who had also allegedly
threatened staff at another address before entering the Hall
St family's property.
"While at the address they've encountered a man who, when
asked to stop, instead fled," he said of the initial Whitmore
"Chasing the man on foot, one of our two officers was
suddenly confronted by him brandishing a firearm."
The man then fled on foot to reach the other property on Hall
St, he said.
"He entered the home and confronted the occupants, taking the
keys to one of their cars."
Police are looking for a silver 2003 Honda Accord station
wagon, believed to have a white sticker on its rear window
with the words "Train Station" on it.