Matamata, world famous in New Zealand as the location of Hobbiton in the LoTR and Hobbit films, isn’t as safe as you’d think.
Police are looking for 3 or 4 men who pulled a gun on a weary traveler in the small Waikato town of Matamata. Their victim had been driving from Auckland to Rotorua on SH 24 when he pulled over for a break around 5am. The “group” of assailants approached him and bashed him with the butt of a gun after robbing him at gunpoint.
The group smashed the gun butt into the man’s face and head causing cuts and bruising before stealing his eftpos cards and cigarettes, said Townsend.
A truck driver who was in the area heard the man calling for help. He stayed with the man while he called police.
“We know that the offending vehicle has travelled on Mangawhero Rd into Matamata town and been in the vicinity of the Arawa St, Broadway area not long after the robbery.”
At least one of the men was captured on CCTV using the man’s eftpos cards at atms in Matamata…source
Matamata has something of a reputation for crime and violent offending, and none of it has been committed by Nazgûl, rather traditional NZ gangs are thought to be the perpetrators of much of the crimes.
In March of this year a man who was a member of a rogue chapter of the Mongrel Mob was linked to a house in Matamata which was raided by armed police. He was sought in connection with kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges dating from August 2014. The man was finally arrested at a rural property in the Kaimai Range on 10 April 2015, and later charged with kidnapping and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Police haven’t said if the assault on the motorist was connected to the April arrest, but there are suggestions that the “group” that attacked him had connections to a local gang.
Details of the motorist have not been released, but it is possible he was a tourist taking a break after arriving in the country.
Location of Hobbiton relative to Matamata and Kaimai Range