Man on the run after guns stolen from police station

Alan James Harris. Photo: Supplied
Alan James Harris. Photo: Supplied
Police are urgently trying to find a man who stole 11 guns from a police station.

Alan James Harris, 38, allegedly stole the firearms from the Palmerston North Police Station yesterday morning.

The guns were in an exhibit storage area at the station and some of them were handed in for destruction.

They were not police firearms "but were a range of weapons being held as exhibits or handed in for destruction".

Harris was found by a member of police staff in the yard of the police station at 7.40am.

He fled in a car, which police have since recovered, along with another car owned by him.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Sarah Stewart said the burglary was being taken very seriously.

"Locating Harris is a high priority for Central District Police," she said.

"I urge anyone with information about his whereabouts to come forward to Police."

"A warrant for his arrest has been issued. He should not be approached."

She added: "I am very concerned about what has occurred — it is absolutely unacceptable."

None of the guns were police firearms, she said.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has asked for an investigation into how Harris was able to get into the police station.

The investigation would also require an immediate audit of security around firearms at all police stations nationwide.

Comments

So who in NZ police will be prosecuted for the unsafe storage of these weapons?
If any civilian was so irresponsible to have 11 weapons so accessible by burglars, they would be facing substantial fines and possibly jail. Or is this another case of NZ police being above the law and untouchable?

This is stupid but does not surprise me as yes have some great police. and yes we have many very stupid// this and other things they do prove it..........

I suspect the investigation will reveal nothing more than the police are massively underfunded for the many roles they are expected to carry out in society.

I also suspect similar incidents will become common as the new, un-budgeted, half-baked, government buy-back scheme comes into effect.

In the short term one wonders if we will see Jilinda posing for photo-opportunities dressed in a Police helmet. And will new laws be rushed through parliament to make it illegal for people to steal guns from police stations?

The fact that this happened and went unreported for over 24hrs before police admitted the theft and only after being repeatedly asked about it by reporters, begs the question; if they had recovered the firearms within the 24hrs, would the public have ever been told about it?

The whole rushed through ban with confiscation & compensation fiasco is a train wreck. It's going to get worse, before it gets better and cost the NZ tax payer a ridiculous amount of money for no improved safety.

After meeting with one of our local MP's, I was horrified about the lack of basic knowledge and erroneous information they were basing their decision making on. It is truly appalling.

It's a pity most can't seem to tear themselves away from Bake Off or MAFS to see what is going on.