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Piha fires: Man arrested and charged with arson

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 11/05/2017
Adey's Place fish and chip shop in Piha was set alight, one of several fires lit in the beachside town overnight. © RNZ / Sarah Robson Adey's Place fish and chip shop in Piha was set alight, one of several fires lit in the beachside town overnight.

A 19-year-old Piha man faces three arson charges after a spate of fires in the west Auckland beach community.

The man has been charged over two fires that were among several in Piha over the past nine days.

He was arrested this morning in Tauranga, police said.

Waitakere Police area commander Inspector Scott Webb said two of the arson charges and one burglary charge related to the fire that destroyed the Adey's Place fish and chip shop last week, and a large scrub fire near the store.

The third arson charge was over a fire in the Auckland city area within the same period, he said.

"Piha is a tight-knit community and we understand this has been a stressful time for residents. Police would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding.

"We have received an overwhelming response from local residents and the wider public who have come forward with information."

He said police were still investigating multiple other fires in the area.

Mr Webb said police were not looking for anyone else over the fires at this stage, and the arrested man could face further charges.

The accused man will appear in the Tauranga District Court tomorrow.


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