24 Jun 2013

Man arrested over attacks on elderly

10:05 pm on 24 June 2013

A man sought in relation to a series of home invasions in Auckland is in custody following a dramatic arrest.

Police had named William Murphy, also known as Wiremu Ruapapera, as a suspect in the crimes and picked him up after tracking him north of Auckland on Monday.

William Murphy was arrested on Monday.

William Murphy was arrested on Monday. Photo: NZ POLICE

The 36-year-old has been charged with intent to obtain pecuniary advantage dishonestly and unlawfully detaining a 79-year-old female. Police said more charges are likely.

Mr Murphy was arrested near Puhoi, just north of the tunnels, after a stolen vehicle crashed while being driven at high speed about 8am on Monday.

Police said he was tracked down by the Eagle Helicopter and dog unit in bush nearby and gave himself up. Mr Murphy will appear in the Auckland District Court on Tuesday.

Police said the arrest is a significant development in the recent spate of home invasions, but the inquiry is continuing.

A 20-strong team is investigating eight attacks on elderly people throughout Auckland since 17 June.

Police said the victims were aged from 69 to 97 and the attacks took place in Remuera, Orewa, Takapuna, Northcote, Herne Bay, Westmere and Pakuranga.

In some of the incidents, a man gained entry by claiming to be a plain-clothed police officer.