‘Please don’t use the gun’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

A Porirua cou­ple who sur­vived an ag­gra­vated rob­bery feared their young son was go­ing to be left an or­phan as a man in a bala­clava pointed his gun at them.

‘‘You have no idea how fright­en­ing it was. I just kept think­ing please don’t use the gun,’’ Ally Haynes, owner of North City Ten­pin with hus­band Chris, said.

‘‘We’re par­ents, we have a son. He could have lost both par­ents just like that.’’

The pair came face to face with the gun­man just after 9am on Mon­day.

He had been hid­ing, and wait­ing for a staff mem­ber to ar­rive and un­lock the doors.

‘‘I saw the staff mem­ber on the se­cu­rity cam­era and went down to let her into the build­ing,’’ Ally Haynes said.

‘‘She screamed at me to run and I did. The gun was huge with a si­lencer on the end ... I ran and hid up the stairs.’’

In­side, the gun­man yelled at her and two staff mem­bers to get be­hind the counter, stay on their hands and knees and not look at him.

Chris was left to fol­low the ‘‘calm and po­lite’’ gun­man’s de­mands for money.

‘‘He was to­tally in con­trol. We just re­verted to train­ing, kept calm, be­came sub­mis­sive and did as we were told.’’

The gun­man took the money and the vic­tims’ cell­phones be­fore he made his get­away in Chris’ car.

He asked the staff to wait a cou­ple of min­utes be­fore call­ing po­lice – who the cou­ple said were ‘‘phe­nom­e­nal’’.

The man was nabbed less than 20 min­utes after the crime was re­ported, and the stolen items re­cov­ered.

‘‘I was on the phone to the po­lice and a cop car was com­ing over the Hay­wards and passed the guy. ‘‘It turned around and got him. ‘‘I couldn’t praise Porirua po­lice enough. Ev­ery­thing worked as it was meant to and how they say it should work.’’

Chris Haynes ad­vised other busi­ness own­ers to pre­pare for the worst by reg­u­larly talk­ing to their staff about how to han­dle an armed rob­bery.

‘‘We don’t want to scare you, but you need to talk about it.

‘‘They need to be told ‘don’t be a hero’, noth­ing’s worth that.’’

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Carl O’Don­nell said the cou­ple did ev­ery­thing right, which was not al­ways easy.

‘‘It’s eas­ier said than done, but if they can keep calm and try and take men­tal notes of the cloth­ing, eth­nic­ity and build of the of­fender, it can help us do our job.’’

The ar­rest of the man in such a short time was due to a team ef­fort, he said.

‘‘It was a good re­sult and helps with pub­lic trust and con­fi­dence that we’re do­ing our best.’’

Chris Haynes, owner of North City Ten­pin in Porirua, said no­body should try to be a hero dur­ing an armed rob­bery.

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