Watch | Michael Hill store in Tauranga robbed in broad daylight
Shoppers at Bayfair Shopping Centre in Mount Maunganui were asked to evacuate the mall on January 27 after robbers carried out a smash-and-grab attack at the Michael Hill jewellery store.
A video shot by an onlooker shows four offenders wearing masks and armed with weapons smashing cabinets and seizing jewellery as alarms and smoke cannons go off.
It was the third time in 10 months the Michael Hill store at Bayfair Shopping Centre was targeted. Other Michael Hill outlets, including the one at LynnMall in Auckland, have also been robbed.
Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken later underscored the continued importance of security measures in the aftermath of the daylight attack.
Bracken said all brand stores will soon have assault glass as an added layer of security. This specialised armoured glass is designed to withstand repeated heavy blows, making penetration nearly impossible.
According to a police spokesperson, they responded to a call from the shopping mall at Girven Rd about 3pm. The offenders fled the scene, leaving their vehicle abandoned at Alverstoke Street by 3:10pm.
Witnesses, including a mother and daughter, shared their experiences of the incident, with the daughter expressing panic, mistaking the situation for a fire emergency. Fire trucks arrived, and after a 15-minute evacuation, shoppers were allowed back inside without immediate explanations.