Video footage captured the moment two people armed with metal bars robbed a jewelry store on Auckland’s North Shore in broad daylight.
The couple entered the Michael Hill store on Hurtsmere Road, Takapuna at around 4.20pm on Thursday, Inspector Stefan Sagar told 1News.
Sagar said they “smashed several storefronts” before stealing “a number of items” before fleeing in a Mazda Demio. The car was found abandoned nearby.
Investigations into the incident are ongoing.
“Police treat these incidents seriously and we remain focused on investigating any incidents of violence,” Sagar said.
The incident was filmed by several passers-by, as the store was located at a busy intersection. The pair wore gloves, hoodies and face masks.
Takapuna Beach Business Association CEO Terence Harpur called the incident a “distressing theft” by two “thugs” armed with tire irons.
Harpur said he was happy no one was hurt in the “brazen” daylight flight.
“I’m really happy that no one was hurt in the incident and no bystanders got involved to try to stop them because they would have been hurt,” he told 1News.
“I think the incident could have been much worse if people had been injured.”
He expressed concern for the welfare of the staff involved.
“You can imagine this coming through your front door. They’re upset and they’re going to need support to get through the next few days.”
Harpur called for more police resources to tackle a crime wave that has increased “dramatically over the past few months”.
“Takapuna is not immune to it. We have been fortunate to see less crime than in other areas, but it is a very painful crime and we need to have these offenders arrested and charged properly and now.”
Business owner Adrian Turner told 1News that his store, located next to Michael Hill, had been robbed six weeks earlier.
“Roughly the same time of day, same situation,” he said.
Turner called the robbery of his store a “traumatic” and “violent experience” that impacts people’s mental well-being.
“You’re starting to play with people’s sanity now; people are worried; there’s financial loss; there’s insurance companies – it’s crazy.”
He echoed Harpur’s call for greater police resources.
“I think the government really needs to step up and support their police – let them do their job.”
It comes amid a series of ram raids and attacks on businesses.
On Monday, the famous Smith and Caughey’s department store on Queen Street had its windows smashed and items stolen.
On Tuesday thieves used a vehicle to break into a gas station in Northpark in the east of the city where they attempted to steal cigarettes, while on Wednesday a Stihl store in Mt Albert was raided.
At the end of May, the government announced a $6 million fund to help small business owners protect their stores.