Staff conducting a Prison Check Point operation at Mt Eden and Auckland Central Remand Prison got more than they bargained for when searching a visitor's vehicle last week.
Nine staff, including two drug dog handlers with their dogs, searched 89 vehicles and 128 visitors during the operation. Despite low amounts of contraband items being found, one man’s boot contained unusual items which led to Police attending the Prison.
“Staff had the first hunch of something not being quite right when they found a brass pipe on the passenger seat, along with a knife and a bag full of keys that clearly didn’t belong to him,” says Assistant Regional Manager Grace Smit.
“When they opened the boot to continue the search, they found around twenty computer hard drives. While hard drives themselves aren’t contraband items or prohibited from being brought onto prison property, and many people have legitimate reason for having one in the boot of their car, staff had more sinister suspicions.”
“The keys were clearly labelled as belonging to a local business, so a staff member rang their offices to enquire about the man having the items in his vehicle. The manager informed the staff member that the keys had been stolen from their premises,” says Ms Smit.
Police were called and arrived to collect the man and his vehicle for further investigation, and possible prosecution.
“Usually when staff conduct these operations, the main purpose is to stop contraband, like drugs and weapons, from entering the jail as they can pose great danger to the public, our staff and even other prisoners.”
“On this occasion it was obvious the man wasn’t attempting to bring contraband into the jail, but our staff have done a great job in apprehending him for a probable crime, and working with Police to ensure he faces consequences for this.”
Notes to journalist:
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