Vi­o­lent, armed of­fend­ers sought

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

Po­lice are wor­ried some­one will get killed or se­ri­ously in­jured af­ter three re­cent, armed hold-ups in Toko­roa.

Two dairies in the town were robbed by armed of­fend­ers in less than 24 hours - the first, on Sun­day night, in­volved an ag­gra­vated as­sault, a gun and a ma­chete.

The lat­est in­ci­dent hap­pened on Mon­day night, at about 10pm, when two peo­ple - one car­ry­ing a ham­mer - stormed Am­ber Dairy in Bridge St and con­fronted a shop at­ten­dant.

‘‘Es­sen­tially they were de­nied any­thing so they ran out of the store and headed down a ser­vice lane to­wards Dreghorn Pl,’’ Toko­roa Po­lice Se­nior Sergeant Ja­son Hen­der­son said.

A wit­ness de­scribed see­ing an axe in the door­way of the store. Hen­der­son said an item was re­cov­ered but it was not known if it was linked to the crime yet.

‘‘We are ask­ing any­one to con­tact us if they have in­for­ma­tion about the in­ci­dent, par­tic­u­larly if they saw two males act­ing sus­pi­cious in that area,’’ he said

‘‘It is only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one gets se­ri­ously in­jured, hurt or killed.’’

The in­ci­dent fol­lows a rob­bery at Toko­roa’s Tainui Dairy on Sun­day night when staff were as­saulted.

Hen­der­son said at 8.30pm three heav­ily dis­guised of­fend­ers, armed with a ma­chete and gun, en­tered the store and as­saulted a staff mem­ber, be­fore they left with a small amount of prop­erty.

The in­ci­dent comes a week af­ter Toko­roa fish and chip shop, Lomond Take­aways, was stormed by of­fend­ers who were also armed with a ma­chete and gun.

‘‘It is pos­si­ble that these peo­ple are the same ones in­volved in the ag­gra­vated rob­bery of Lomond Take­aways but we are not rul­ing any­thing out at this stage,’’ Hen­der­son said.

He said it was con­cern­ing if they were the same of­fend­ers.

‘‘They will get more brazen and as they are armed with a firearm and ma­chete it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore some­one gets se­ri­ously in­jured, hurt or killed,’’ he said.

‘‘We are pretty sure they are lo­cals from Toko­roa and peo­ple in the com­mu­nity will know who they are.’’

He urged shop own­ers to do all they can to de­ter such in­ci­dents from tak­ing place.

Con­tact the Toko­roa Po­lice Sta­tion on 07 885 0100 or al­ter­na­tively via the anony­mous Crimestop­pers line on 0800 555 111.

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