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Manurewa Jewellery Store Robbery: Did Fog Canon Help? You Be The Judge

Representational Image. Photo: RNZ

Navita Shee, sister of the owner of House of Gold and Diamond, is thankful for the fog cannon installed at the store, which “prevented further damage” to the jewellery store that was recently robbed late in the evening on ANZAC Day. 

CCTV footage of the robbery on April 25, 2024, shows six robbers wielding hammer and machete forcing their way inside the store, and stealing trays of Jewellery before the fog cannon went off. 


“If we did not have the fog cannon installed, the thieves would have stayed much longer, causing us more loss”, Shee says.

CCTV footage of the robbery went viral online over this week, with many on social media questioning the utility of fog cannons.


                                                    CCTV screengrab of the robbery on 25 April, 2024

Introduced under the ‘Fog Cannon Scheme’,  these cannons were pitched as a deterrent to prevent robberies. The Labour government said it would pay $4,000 to every small shop and dairy wanting to install fog cannons.

The cannons release dense fog within seconds, limiting the vision and action of a perpetrator once triggered. The cannons can usually be set off by alarms, triggered remotely, or started by pressing a button located nearby. The dense cloud of fog can prove to be disorienting for the attacker targeting cash, stock or workers.

Most fog cannons use heat to evaporate a special liquid – usually a mixture of glycol and water – creating large clouds of fog-like mist in the process.

The ‘Fog Cannon Scheme’ was introduced following the killing of Janak Patel​, who was stabbed to death in Auckland while working at a dairy in Sandringham​. 

Patel was attacked in the street near the Rose Cottage Superette on November 23, 2022 and later died. He was an employee of the store who was minding the shop while the owners were on holiday in India.

Hundreds gathered outside the dairy for vigils and protests, emphasising the need for increased safety measures.

However, according to Sunny Kaushal, Chair of the Dairy & Business Owners Group Inc, says that while the installation of fog cannons provides a sense of security “it is only a bandage”.

“It's like waiting with an ambulance at the bottom of a cliff. Fog cannons are not the solution to the senseless crime and retail crime emergency we've been facing in NZ for the last six years”, Kaushal told The Indian Weekender. 



Kaushal believes the issue lies in stopping ram raids and robberies, and holding offenders accountable by taking tough measures against crime. 

“Their soft-on-crime approach and catch-and-release policy over the last six years have created a permissive environment with minimal consequences for youth offenders,” he added.

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