Rob­bers: ‘You will be pinged’

The Northland Age - - Front Page -

Po­lice in Kaitaia have a warn­ing for would-be rob­bers — don’t go any­where near the North Rd or Cen­tral dairies.

De­tec­tive Sergeant Paula Drew­ery of­fered that ad­vice after three youths at­tempted to rob the North Rd Dairy, op­po­site Kaitaia In­ter­me­di­ate School, at gun­point on Thurs­day after­noon.

“These dairies have ex­cep­tion­ally good CCTV cam­eras that go well be­yond the im­me­di­ate premises,” she said, “and any­one who sets out to com­mit any sort of of­fence there will be pinged.”

Thurs­day’s in­ci­dent, the third since Chan­drakant and Dipika Pa­tel bought the busi­ness in 2001, in­volved two males and one fe­male, all with their faces cov­ered with masks and hooded tops, one of them armed with a pis­tol. It was not known yes­ter­day whether the firearm was gen­uine, but po­lice were treat­ing it as such un­til they es­tab­lished oth­er­wise.

The trio rushed at Mr Pa­tel, who had watched them from the door­way as they pre­pared to en­ter the dairy. He asked his wife to call the po­lice, a male of­fender then point­ing the hand­gun at him, and de­mand­ing money. Mr Pa­tel said he re­sponded with “What money?”, at which point one of the male of­fend­ers punched him in the face.

He ran into the shop, chased by the of­fend­ers, and asked his wife to fetch “the stick”. She did so, and the youths fled, emp­ty­handed. Mr Pa­tel said yes­ter­day that he had not been en­tirely sur­prised by the in­ci­dent. He had seen sev­eral youths, at least one with a ban­danna over his face, loi­ter­ing nearby on Mon­day after­noon. They had run off when he and his wife went out on to the street.

Mean­while, po­lice ex­e­cuted a num­ber of search war­rants on Thurs­day, and ar­rested a 17-year-old boy.

He ap­peared be­fore the Kaitaia District Court on Fri­day and was re­manded in cus­tody un­til July 27 on charges of as­sault with in­tent to rob and com­mit­ting an of­fence with a firearm.

Mr Drew­ery said yes­ter­day that the fe­male sus­pect, who was armed with a kitchen knife, had also been iden­ti­fied, but had yet to be charged. The of­fender who pre­sented the pis­tol had yet to be lo­cated. Both are be­lieved to be aged around 15.

The ar­rested youth had told po­lice that he had planned to rob the Cen­tral Dairy ear­lier in the year, and had been part of an at­tempt on Mon­day that had “gone wrong”. On Thurs­day they had been in­tend­ing to take money and cig­a­rettes.

He also ad­mit­ted in­volve­ment in nu­mer­ous rob­beries in Christchurch, which in­quiries had failed to sub­stan­ti­ate as hav­ing been com­mit­ted.

Any­one who was in the vicin­ity of the dairy at around 4pm on Thurs­day, and might be able to as­sist the po­lice, is asked to call the Kaitaia sta­tion on (09) 408-6500.

The last North Rd Dairy rob­bery was in Oc­to­ber 2015, when a 12-year-old boy armed with a rifle tried to stuff sweets into his pock­ets but was too im­paired to do so.

He was chased off with a broom.

Kaitaia’s North Rd Dairy, not the best tar­get for rob­bers.

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