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The hunt for dangerous gang associate Jackson Manson was sparked after a pistol was found in his abandoned car.
Police said yesterday the gun was found in a car Manson left in Christchurch at the corner of Hills Rd and Shirley Rd car on Friday afternoon.
Manson, 22, and associates were being tracked by police after they were allegedly spotted preparing for a burglary.
Detective Sergeant Chris Power said Manson had access to guns and was a risk to the public.
He is wanted in connection with "serious offending involving firearms" and should not be approached.
Police found a pistol in the abandoned car.
"That's the reason why he's regarded as a threat," he said.
"He has a predilection towards using firearms. There's evidence that's the way he's operating lately and we don't believe he'll change his pattern."
Detective Sergeant Power said Manson was well known to police for dishonesty offences and had committed burglaries to obtain guns.
"He should be treated as armed and dangerous."
The Armed Offenders Squad was called out to a Dallington property on Monday after an off-duty police officer reported sighting Manson, but he had left the Gayhurst Rd address before police arrived.
Anyone seeing him should call 111 and notify police immediately.
Manson is a Maori, of thin build with black hair and brown eyes.
- By Cullen Smith of The Star