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An RSA manager brutally bashed and tied up in a robbery in Auckland yesterday initially managed to free herself before she was caught again by her attacker.
The robbery of the Hobsonville RSA yesterday morning took place exactly 10 years after the Mt Wellington RSA murders.
The manager at the Hobsonville RSA was punched and dragged into another room during the ordeal at the hands of a man who did not utter a word.
She suffered a suspected broken cheek bone.
She was alone at the RSA about 9am, when the robber - who was wearing a Halloween mask - attacked her while she was at the till.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Andy King said "the man started beating her and tied her hands".
He said she managed to escape but the man caught her and punched her in the face before he tied her up again.
He described the attack as "cowardly", brutal and unprovoked.
"The courageous victim managed to break free but was then bound again. The offender took an undisclosed amount of cash in notes and coins from the club's bar. He then fled the scene and ran on to Hobsonville Rd.
Mr King worked on the inquiry into the Mt Wellington RSA murders 10 years ago and said that while there was no link between the robberies, his thoughts were with the victims of that event as they began this investigation.
Returned Services Association president Don McIver said it was devastating to have an assault coming on the anniversary.
He was "shattered" by news of the attack.
"It brings back terrible memories of what happened in the past. The coincidence of it being on the anniversary of that terrible event is horrible."
Ten years ago yesterday, William Bell stormed into the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA premises and shot four people in the chest before bludgeoning them with the butt of his shotgun.
Bell was convicted of three murders and one charge of attempted murder and is serving a life sentence in Paremoremo - New Zealand's toughest prison.
He is not eligible for parole until 2031.