Police storm wrong house
Armed police stormed into the wrong house in New Plymouth yesterday, startling an elderly man who was minding his own business.
They later blamed the mistake on a map error.
Ten members of the armed offenders squad smashed through the rear windows of a Housing New Zealand unit on Glenpark Ave while searching for illegal firearms.
Police promptly realised their mistake and comforted the occupier while one of the squad returned with a vacuum cleaner.
The man declined to speak to the Taranaki Daily News about the incident.
New Plymouth CIB chief Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward last night confirmed the squad went in to the wrong house.
The unit was cleaned and the broken windows fixed at the expense of the police.
The error was caused by an incorrectly numbered topography map, Mr Coward said.
Once the AOS moved into the correct home, an identical unit nearby, police discovered the firearms in the house were air rifles and fully legal.
However, a search of the premises uncovered some cannabis plants and a suspected illegal alcohol operation.
Mr Coward said it was policy for the armed offenders squad to be called in whenever there were suspicions of firearms being present. Last night the occupant had not been located.