Elderly woman beaten with walking sticks

An elderly woman was beaten with her own walking sticks during a home invasion in Whangarei last night.

Two teenage boys forced their way into her Maunu Rd home around 10.15pm and assaulted her, police said. They fled the scene with a number of stolen items as well as her car.

The woman needed hospital treatment for lacerations sustained in the assault, and was discharged from hospital today.

One of the alleged assailants was arrested later last night following a police chase and search by a police dog.

The woman's car was spotted on State Highway 1 near Portland shortly after the robbery. Police gave chase for a short distance, but stopped due to concerns for public safety, Detective Senior Sergeant Dene Begbie said.

A short time later the car was seen again on the roundabout at State Highway 1 and Port Marsden Highway. It later crashed into a fence at Marsden Bay Rd.

A police dog unit tracked down a 17-year-old boy, who was arrested and charged with aggravated robbery, wounding with intent, unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and several driving offences, Mr Begbie said.

He has been remanded in custody to appear in the Whangarei District Court on September 1.

Investigations into the second teen are on-going, Mr Begbie said.

It was a "very traumatic incident" for the elderly woman, he said.

"It is pleasing that our staff were able to catch an offender reasonably quickly after the incident.

"We are also following up strong leads to locate the outstanding offender."

- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ

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