Last updated 09:31, September 12 2017
Waikato’s notorious wig-wearing wanted man Barney Te Hau has given police the slip – again.
Police hot on the tail of the fugitive, who’s currently at the top of the region’s most wanted list, were left empty handed after a search of a home in Te Awamutu on Sunday night.
They had information to believe Te Hau, who wears blonde wigs to disguise himself, was at a property on Hazelmere Cres, Detective Sergeant Will Loughrin said
Around 7.30pm police executed a warrant and cleared the home, but Te Hau was nowhere to be found.
It was the second lead on the 39-year-old father in four days.
Last Thursday night police came close to getting their man when Te Hau and an accomplice found themselves in a spot of trouble on the rural outskirts of Hamilton.
The pair were heading south in a stolen blue Nissan Navara ute towing a caravan when the vehicle broke down on Kaipaki Rd, leaving the pair stranded.
A couple of unsuspecting locals came to their aid and offered to help push the vehicle off the road.
At the same time a call was made to local Cambridge police reporting a vehicle broken down in the middle of the road.
As a police unit responded, Loughrin said the driver, who was later found to be Te Hau, spotted the flashing red and blue lights and did took off through the paddocks.
Police arrived to find a 33-year-old woman who was subsequently charged with unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.
Extra police officers were called in and cordons were set up where officers were checking vehicles as they passed through the rural area.
The Eagle helicopter flew in to canvass the area using heat detecting technology. Police dogs and their handlers combed the fields.
Despite the lengthy night-time search, Loughrin said Te Hau managed to slip away.
“We’re not sure how he has managed to get outside the cordons – it is possible he has been picked up by someone else.”
The patched Mongrel Mob member, whose been on the run for the last six months, has two warrants out for his arrest for breaching his court release conditions and contravening a protection order.
He skipped bail, fled his bail address and failed to turn up for his scheduled court appearance at the start of the year.
Since then he’s become wanted on a raft of other charges, including three family harm related offences, two burglaries, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and allegedly stealing items from a petrol station, Loughrin said.
He’s also wanted over a police pursuit in Morrinsville in April.
Te Hau has links across the region, particularly in Morrinsville, Matamata and Te Awamutu areas and could be getting help to avoid detection, Loughrin said.
“People found to be assisting him will face prosecution and people who know where he is should contact police as he is wanted to arrest.”
Te Hau is described as being Maori, about 180cm tall and of solid build. He has multiple tattoos on his left arm including a tribal design on his forearm.
He is known to wear a wigs, not just blonde ones, and potentially other disguises.
Loughrin said the woman has been bailed to reappear in Hamilton District Court later this week.
Anyone with information about where Te Hau could be, should call Detective Sergeant Will Loughrin directly on 021 190 2963.
Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.