A Whangarei liquor store worker
thought he was going to be shot when he was forced at
gunpoint by a masked robber to open the shop's cash
The victim, who did not want to be named as he fears for his
safety, was working at Super Liquor on Kiripaka Rd in
Tikipunga when two men clad in black clothing - one of them
wielding a firearm - rushed into the shop about 7.40pm on
It was the fifth robbery involving firearms in three months
in Whangarei. The last three robberies have all been of
His fears of being shot have been echoed by police who are
concerned it is only a matter of time before a mistake is
made and someone dies.
Back at work yesterday the man recounted the terrifying
moments he and his male co-worker were threatened.
He said robbers dressed all in black ran inside the shop.
One of them pointed a gun at him and marched him round behind
the counter demanding he open the cash register.
The other robber scooped the money out of the till into a bag
and they both ran off.
The shop worker said he was no stranger to armed robberies
having gone through the same experience in 1989 while working
in a South Auckland liquor store when two men armed with a
shotgun and a baseball bat robbed the store.
However, in the latest incident, given the aggressive manner
of the thieves, he feared for his life.
"This time I thought there was a good chance of being shot. I
was completely powerless to do anything," he said.
"It was a relief when they decided to go.
"I just hope they don't decide to come back. I hope the
police get them because if they don't someone will be next."
As soon as the men left the workers bolted the doors, rang
111 and waited for police.
Whangarei police Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer said police
were dismayed at the number of robberies involving firearms.
"It's a real concern [that] these guys are going in with
firearms. It's only a matter of time before someone makes a
mistake and someone gets shot," Mr Pilmer said.
The robbers on Monday fled down an alleyway next to the shops
towards Denby Cr.
A police dog and handler were called and tracked them but
several other people were in the area and the track was
Anyone with information should contact Whangarei police on 09
- By Kristin Edge of
the Northern Advocate