Police abandon helicopter search for person of interest in Hamilton

An Eagle helicopter search for people being sought by police in Hamilton has been abandoned.

The helicopter had been sent from Auckland to help with the search for the occupants of a vehicle abandoned on Hukanui Rd around 7pm.

However the helicopter has since returned to Auckland.

A police spokesperson said area searches had been conducted but those in the vehicle were unable to be found.

“Police will continue to follow lines of inquiry.”

People in the Hamilton East area had earlier reported seeing cops with guns – but police said the armed offenders squad had not been deployed at this stage.

Posts on a Facebook page reported police with guns and two police helicopters circling above the Peachgrove Rd area, not far from the University of Waikato.

“Something serious, guns are out,” one person wrote.

Another said a workmate in the Tramway Rd area also saw “armed defenders” out.

“Police are continuing to seek a person of interest in the Hamilton East area,” the police spokeswoman said.

“Officers on the ground are being assisted by the Eagle helicopter.

“We have spoken to staff who have advised AOS have not been deployed at this stage.”

She said further information will be provided when available.

Further posts made on Facebook at 7.10pm said the search was still ongoing.

“Patrol cars cruising Chartwell area … saw at least eight cars in a few minutes driving through,” one wrote.

Another said the police chopper hadn’t left the area, and had been circling for half an hour or so.

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