Two liquor stores robbed in a matter of just a few hours in Rotorua has raised concerns about safety in the town.
The first robbery took place at Bottle O store on Fairy Springs Road at around 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, when a man walked in and out of the store carrying alcohol and was chased by the store worker who pulled him out of the waiting getaway car.
The security footage showed a car waiting for the sole robber to escape with the alcohol when the store worker confronted him and got into a scuffle. The thief, however, managed to escape and got into the car, the footage showed.
The second robbery happened at the Ngongotaha Bottle O store at around 9:30 p.m., just over two hours after the first theft. Three men walked into the store manned by one store worker and started taking the alcohol bottles outside the store. One of the three offenders cornered the sole store worker and threatened with intimidation and telling him that he had a knife.
The offenders got away with the stolen alcohol bottles but were captured in the CCTV camera.
Mr Dhillon, who owns six Bottle O stores in Rotorua and Tauranga including one in Tauranga said that he is trained in kickboxing and his staff are also trained with the basics of the sport to protect themselves but are also instructed to not to engage with offenders and put themselves at risk.
"I tell them if someone comes to rob you, don't do anything because we have very good security cameras and they will be found," Mr Dhillon told NZ Herald.
Mr Dhillon added that he had spent thousands on the security systems in his liquor stores including CCTV that linked all his six stores and instructed his staff to look out for one another at adverse situations and call police if needed.
Rotorua police crime prevention manager Inspector Brendon Keenan said no one had been charged yet, but the police's tactical unit was looking into the security footage and acting on information received from the public.
He said that some of the stores that have become a frequent target for the robbers in the past few years might be eligible for the new government scheme, that would see the store equipped with the new crime-preventing fog-canon device.
The stores identified to be at risk will be selected to have the fog-canon installed at the government-subsidised cost of $250, which is otherwise $2000 in the market.