Above: Image from the Taxi Camera of Mackay
Mackay, 47, of Tuakau, robbed the Manukau BNZ in early February, demanding cash from the teller and leaving what he said was an explosive device on the counter, threatening to detonate it remotely.
Upon leaving the bank, Mackay was unknowingly sprayed in a synthetic DNA laced mist – SelectaDNA – providing an irrefutable link between the offender and the crime.
Mackay had disguised himself with a wig and had drawn on a false tattoo on one hand. He had even taped his fingers so he wouldn’t leave any prints. He left the bank with only $150 in a taxi where he was recorded on taxi video camera, and it was this footage, combined with the discovery of SelectaDNA on his person that drew out an early guilty plea.
BNZ Head of Enterprise Security Owen Loeffellechner says that new forensic security measures provide a science that there is no escaping from.
“This conviction is very pleasing and helps with closure for all our staff subjected to what was a dramatic and frightening crime. We are very grateful to the Police in achieving this outcome for our staff and the wider public,” says Loeffellechner.
Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Ellwood, who headed the investigation, says the incident was very traumatic for the victims and the public response to the appeal for additional information about the offender was outstanding.
“Following the incident we had a fantastic public response and we able to quickly collate nominated suspects and work toward ensuring the offender was held accountable for this very public crime,” said Ellwood
Mackay has a long history of crime dating back to 1982 as a youth, including nine counts of violent and aggravated robbery, threatening to kill and various drug offences. He was released from prison not long before the bomb hoax after serving all of a previous sentence. It is likely that he would do the same this time.
The guilty plea reflects the overwhelming evidence that Police had gathered against Mackay, and the sentence today sends the clear message that violent offending will not be tolerated.
“A robbery is not just a crime against the bank,” says Loeffellechner; “it’s a crime against people and this just goes to show that in any form, it’s a really stupid idea. It’s astonishing that anyone would think that $150 dollars for a prison sentence is a good idea.”
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