Police are trying to identify two “extremely low intellect” men and locate a vehicle involved in the aggravated robbery of two French tourists on State Highway 2 in Papamoa about 4pm on Saturday.
The men were robbed behind this building
Two 21-year-old tourists were hitchhiking from Mount Maunganui to Rotorua, when they were picked up in a vehicle, with two occupants.
The vehicle pulled into a layby on SH2 next to Welcome Bay Road, and parked behind an empty building where the tourists were assaulted and had their money, passports, some clothing and other possessions stolen. The two occupants of the vehicle drove away towards Te Puke.
The vehicle is described as a black coloured older model four door sedan, in rough condition.
The registration number is thought to be ZR9879, or something similar – which is registered to a black coloured Nissan Pulsar and enquiries are continuing into the vehicle, says Tauranga senior sergeant Glenn Saunders.
The victims described their assailants as Maori or Pacific Islander men, aged between 20 and 30-years-old, and of extremely low intellect.
Police are asking for help from anyone that may have seen these two hitchhikers being picked up or abandoned, or any information on the motor vehicle and/or the two occupants responsible for this violent attack.
The two victims received minor injuries as a result of the attack. Though traumatised by the experience, they are very thankful for the many offers of assistance from within the Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Hawkes Bay.
Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.