Four arrested after crime spree with screwdriver: police


A group of four men on a crime spree in central Dunedin attempted to rob people armed with a screwdriver before threatening to stab a pub-goer for refusing to buy them a drink, police say. 

Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond, of Dunedin, said officers on patrol were flagged down by a member of the public the group entered a bar in the Octagon and one threatened to stab a patron if they did not buy them a drink last night. 

The four men, aged between 19 and 25, started their night by allegedly stealing a Mazda Demio from Ward St between 5pm and 9pm. 

They then drove around the central city area until about 10pm, when they spotted two 20-year-old men walking down Princes St towards the Octagon.

One of the men in the vehicle, a 19-year-old, went up to the two men and demanded they hand over phones and watches while threatening them with a screwdriver, Snr Sgt Bond said.  

A woman intervened and told the 19-year-old there was CCTV in the area, so he left with his other three accomplices.

The men then hopped back in the stolen car, made their way to the Octagon and entered a bar. 

One of the men demanded a patron buy them a drink and when the person refused, he threatened to harm them with the screwdriver, Snr Sgt Bond said. 

The person who was threatened ran out of the bar, flagged down a passing patrol car and reported the incident to officers.

Police found the stolen vehicle in Bath St.

When the men were spotted, they took off from police, with one climbing up the fire escape of a private property and getting on the roof.

Three men were located a short distance away, and the fourth was located on the roof of a Bath St property. All were arrested.

A 19-year-old man as been charged with unlawful taking of a motor vehicle and possession of an offensive weapon - a loaded bb gun. 

The second 19-year-old was charged with nine offences,  including unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, possessing instruments for conversion, possession of an offensive weapon and two charges of demands with intent to steal.

As was also the driver of the vehicle, he underwent breath testing procedures and recorded a breath alcohol limit of 749mcg - the legal limit for people under the age of 20 is zero. 

He was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while disqualified.

A 25-year-old and 21-year-old man were charged with getting into a stolen motor vehicle.

All men except for the 25-year-old had their bail opposed and would appear in Dunedin District Court this morning.