‘What can you do?’
THE ARREST of two teenagers for the robbery of a Sandringham dairy hasn’t brought peace to the woman who was held at gunpoint.
Shazia Hussain was working in the Edendale Superette she owns with husband Tahir Ketan when she was robbed early on Saturday morning while her two-month-old son slept in a back room.
Mr Ketan says he and his wife are pleased arrests have been made, but Mrs Hussain is still traumatised by the experience.
“She is having trouble sleeping because when she closes her eyes, she sees it all over again,” he says.
She is also finding it hard to be back behind the counter
Police arrested two teenagers, both aged 14, in Henderson on Monday evening.
They appeared in the Auckland Youth Court yesterday on charges including aggravated robbery.
Investigators were yesterday still looking for a third person, but said they were following good leads.
During the robbery, three teenagers entered the store, one pointing a pistol at Mrs Hussain as they demanded cash and cigarettes.
They placed a bag on the counter. She filled it with the money and tobacco. The offenders also took chocolate and ice creams as they left.
The couple usually work in the shop together but Mr Ketan was looking after their two-year-old daughter.
Mrs Hussain called for her husband as soon as the youths fled.
“I saw that she was shaking and crying,” says Mr Ketan.
He says when he looked at the security footage, he was shocked.
The couple have owned the dairy for about four years and have only ever dealt with petty theft.
“Normally they just take some chips or a drink and run away.”
Despite the ordeal, Mr Ket- an says they won’t be selling the business.
“What else can I do in New Zealand? But my wife says: ‘I don’t like this business’.
“It’s very, dangerous at the moment. It’s very hard work, seven days a week and 16 to 17 hours a day. This happens and what can you do?”
Saturday’s incident, the latest in a list of armed robberies on dairies in central Auckland, including the fatal shooting of Bhagubhai Vaghela at the Uptown Mini Mart in 2005, has left shopowners feeling more vulnerable than ever.
Safia Jasat owns the Sandringham Superette with her husband and says she doesn’t feel safe in her job.
“Every time the buzzer rings you look out to see who it is.”
She says the shop has had lots of incidents of people stealing stock and one time she was serving a child when another boy stole his bike from outside the store.
“We work from 7am to 11pm trying to make ends meet. Thieves don’t understand that for the $10 worth of stuff they steal, we have to sell $100 worth to make it up.
“People come in and see all this stuff and think we’re rich but we’re not.”
She says parents need to be more responsible for the young people committing the crimes.
“A big problem is the leniency of the punishment that is meted out. They know they are underage and they will just get a rap over the knuckles.”
Still shaken: Shazia Hussain and Tahir Ketan are glad arrests have been made after their dairy was robbed.