The police is hunting for offenders of three separate armed robberies in one week in Tokoroa, Waikato.
On Monday night (February 27), two men, armed with a hammer and an axe, entered Amber Dairy on Bridge Street and demanded cash from the shop attendant. According to the police, the robbers were denied of anything, so they ran out of the store and headed down a service lane towards Dreghorn Place.
When Indian Weekender approached Amber Dairy, the owner denied acknowledging and commenting on the incident.
On Sunday, February 26, three men armed with a machete and a firearm entered the Tainui Superette in Tokoroa at around 8:30 p.m. and demanded cash and cigarettes. Two people, who were manning the dairy at the time of the incident, complied with the demands of the offenders. The trio grabbed the money and fled the scene on foot.
“I was not there when the incident happened. My friend and his wife were looking after the store, and they are shocked with this robbery,” Bhavesh Patel, owner of Tainui Superette, told Indian Weekender.
“The police investigated the place but could not find anything, not even fingerprints,” he said.
Multiple armed robberies have taken place in Tokoroa in the last three months. Lamond Takeaway, a fish and chip shop on Nevis Crescent in Tokoroa, was robbed by armed men on Sunday, February 19. Last year in December, Manaia Street Dairy and Balmoral Drive Dairy, too, were robbed by offenders, who were disguised under hoodies and balaclavas and wielded an axe.
“We are reluctant [to] even report the incident to the police. They come to examine the place, take footages, and then there is no progress or any result at the end. We had to close the store for hours to just describe the incident, and at least five hours in the morning for scene investigation,” Mr Patel said.
“We lost business through invasion by robbers, [and] the lockdown during police investigation further added to our losses.”
The police suspect the repeated robberies have been committed by offenders from the same group and warned that it is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed.
The police is investigating the cases individually and has urged retail store owners and takeaways in the region to report if they find anything suspicious.