Dramatic photos posted on social media appear to show two men allegedly arrested by residents in Vava’u.
The photos appear to show incidents at about 2am today during which two men were detained by residents of Neiafu and Ta’anea.
The incident occurred after residents were warned about a number of break-ins in the area.
Neiafu Town Officer Vava Lapota told Kaniva News he was aware of the incidents and the photos of the two men being shared on Facebook.
One of the pictures posted on-line showed a shirtless man lying on his stomach in the grass with his face supported by one of his hands. He looked distressed.
The second photo showed another shirtless man who has a tattoo on his body having his hands tied with rope while some people are holding his face up.
Lapota said he talked to the residents after the arrests and it appeared they thought the duo had been acting suspiciously.
He said he was aware Police had been called to the scene and took the two suspects into custody.
Lapota said no charges had been laid against the men.
He alleged the residents beat the two men.
Earlier this week Lapota told Kaniva News there had been reports of men with their faces covered entering homes in Neiafu.
He said intruders picked on homes where they thought the occupants were either widows or women whose husbands were overseas under New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer and Australia’s Seasonal Worker programmes.
Lapota said he alerted the locals about the incidents and the reaction from the community showed the people were well aware of the incidents.
The Town Officer said he patrolled part of Neiafu at night time and in one case met some youths roaming around in the towns. When he questioned them they told him they were patrolling to make sure the community was safe from the intruders.
He said he could hear gunshots during the night and when he went to check he was told they had been fired by locals to warn potential intruders.
Lapota said he warned the locals to look out and report any suspicious behaviour and vehicles. A number of complaints had been lodged with Police.