Violent, armed offenders sought
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.