An armed robber held a terrified Kaitaia bakery worker in a
headlock and put a knife to her throat.
Detective Sergeant Trevor Beatson said the three victims
survived a harrowing encounter with the intruder physically
unscathed but he wanted to catch the offender as quickly as
possible, "before they consider doing it, or actually do try
The robber, believed to be female, entered the Coast 2 Coast
bakery. She went behind the counter, where three people were
preparing food, picked up a large bread knife, held it to the
throat of one of the victims and demanded money.
She grabbed what Mr Beatson described as a small amount of
cash in $5 and $10 notes when another employee opened the
cash register, still holding the first victim in a headlock
with the knife at her throat, then left.
Detectives had been to the scene and had recovered forensic
evidence that they believed would lead to the identification
of the offender, he added, but he appealed to the public for
information to help solve the crime.
"We are confident that we will identify this person through
forensic means. However, there may be some delay in this
process, and we want to catch this person as soon as
possible," he said.
"We want to hear from anyone who was out and about in the
early hours of Sunday morning and saw any suspicious
behaviour in Kaitaia's CBD, particularly around the bakery,
or anyone who noticed a female friend, partner or family
member who was not at home at that time on Sunday morning.
"I would ask anyone who recognises the person pictured, or
the clothing worn by the suspect, to get hold of us
urgently." The suspect is described as probably female, 5ft
11in (1.8 metre) tall, and of medium build, wearing a green
jacket with a hood, "greyish" three-quarter skinny pants and
Officers can be contacted at the Kaitaia police station,
phone 09 4086500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- By Kristin Edge of the Northern Advocate