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Gang member escapes court custody in Auckland after posing as prisoner being let out on bail

A man escaped court custody in Auckland this morning after posing as a prisoner being let out on bail.

William Tuitupou. Source: Supplied

Police are appealing to the public for sightings of William Tuitupou.

The 48-year-old man escaped custody at the Auckland District Court at about 11.30am having posed as another prisoner who was being bailed from the court.

Police say Tuitupou had previously been remanded in custody and was taken to court to appear in relation to numerous charges this morning.

They are currently making a number of inquiries to locate him, including conducting door knocks and reviewing CCTV footage.

Tuitupou is 180cm tall, of medium to solid build, with short black hair.

He was wearing a white top with black and white stripped sleeves, with pink shorts and green sneakers at the time.

He is a patched gang member and is considered dangerous and should not be approached by the public.

Anyone who sees Tuitupou or has information about his whereabouts is urged to call 111 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.

Police and the courts are urgently reviewing the circumstances surrounding this incident in order to identify how this was able to occur.