Oamaru man appears in court over store break-in

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A portion of State Highway One was closed for over an hour following an early morning break-in at an Oamaru supermarket yesterday.

A 62-year-old Oamaru male was arrested after allegedly breaking into New World on Wansbeck St at 4.27am.

Oamaru Police Senior Sergeant Jason McCoy said the man allegedly smashed the glass of the front door and entered the building carrying a firearm.

Police say four bakery staff members, two males and two females, were confronted as the man entered the store.

One of the staff members managed to contact the police and when they arrived the staff members vacated the premises, Senior Sergeant McCoy said.

Negotiations began between the man and Oamaru Police, and during these negotiations the Dunedin Armed Offenders Squad were called out.

However, the man had given himself up to Oamaru Police by the time they arrived and the Armed Offenders Squad were stood down, Senior Sergeant McCoy said.

The man was apprehended at 6.05am.

New World owner/operator Justin Smith said the store opened at 7am as usual yesterday with the only hiccup being a delay in bread production.

Mr Smith praised the quick actions of his staff who discovered the man and called the police.

“They are now assisting the police with their investigation into the incident but we are operating as normal,” he said.

The man appeared in the Dunedin District Court yesterday on a number of charges – one charge of aggravated burglary, three charges of presenting a firearm, one charge of using a firearm to prevent arrest and one charge of possession of an offensive weapon. He was remanded in custody until Friday.

A section of SH1 was closed for about an hour yesterday morning, a police spokesperson said.

By RUBY HARFIELD