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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Zealand, Warehouse new gang base

BLAIR ENSOR - The Marlborough Express
Trouble: Police talk with Lone Legion members outside a warehouse at 14 Stuart St, Blenheim, which is thought to be the club's new headquarters. Second from left is Roger Turnbull, the director of Legionnaire Ltd, which owns the warehouse.
Residents say they were intimidated by patched gang members during a rowdy weekend at a warehouse in Blenheim that police believe could be the new headquarters of the Lone Legion Motorcycle Club.
The Lone Legion marked its 30th anniversary last Wednesday, and celebrations continued through the weekend.
The Marlborough Express saw at least six members of the Outlaws MC from Napier arrive on motorbikes at 14 Stuart St on Saturday.
Yesterday afternoon, four Lone Legion members, including Legionnaire Ltd director Roger Turnbull, were seen talking with police.
A New Zealand flag hung at half-mast at the entrance to the warehouse on the property, which has a high corrugated iron fence and gate along the street front.
Acting Marlborough area police commander Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan said police were called to Stuart St after an incident stemming from a noise complaint. Inquiries were continuing.
A resident in the area said a gang member attacked a neighbour across the road in Stuart St after a complaint on Saturday night about loud music. The fight lasted several minutes.
The music from the warehouse on Saturday night was a "constant thud in the distance", the resident said.
Mr Sloan said police were aware that associates of the Lone Legion owned the warehouse at 14 Stuart St.
Asked whether the building was the club's new headquarters, Mr Sloan said he did not know, "but one could assume that it is going to be".
Police would be monitoring the gang, he said.
"[Gangs] are usually up to criminal activity, and I would say the Lone Legion ... is up to no different. When they attract our attention, they will receive it," Mr Sloan said.
Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman said he had not been briefed about the Lone Legion setting up in Stuart St, but gangs were not welcome in Blenheim.
"For some time, [the Lone Legion] have kept a pretty low profile and haven't been a concern to the public.
"If they're lifting their presence and associating with other gangs, then of course it's a concern.
"The police have kept a lid on things gang-wise, and I want to see it kept that way."
The Lone Legion Motorcycle Club and the Outlaws MC are part of the A-Team, an alliance of several biker groups.
According to the New Zealand Companies Register, Mr Turnbull is the sole director of Legionnaire Ltd, whose registered office for several years was 18 Gascoigne St, the Lone Legion's old gang house. It was pulled down in 2007 after a murder.
Mr Turnbull could not be contacted by the Express this morning, but earlier this year he said the new building was a warehouse and would be rented out when it was finished.
Neighbours said they had heard that motorcycles would be stored in the building, but Mr Turnbull would not give any more details.
The building consent for the warehouse shows that it cost about $188,000.