‘What can you do?’

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

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.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Still shaken: Shazia Hus­sain and Tahir Ke­tan are glad ar­rests have been made af­ter their dairy was robbed.

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