Appeal after armed robbery, stabbing at store

Police are appealing for the public’s help following an aggravated robbery in Invercargill this week which left a man in hospital.

About 9.20pm on Thursday a man entered the Gladstone Night 'n Day, presented what appeared to be firearm and demanded money from the shop assistant, police said today.

A member of the public intervened before a second man entered the store and stabbed him.

The two offenders took a small quantity of cash before fleeing in a red two-door Honda Civic stolen from Pork Pie Lane earlier in the evening.

The vehicle, which was later found in the Glouchester Street/Drury Lane area, is also thought to have been involved in a petrol drive-off.

Police today asked residents in that area to check their properties for anything that may have been discarded by the men, and to contact police if they had any information.

The first offender was wearing a black hooded ‘Ford’ sweatshirt, black sneakers, dark blue ‘Champion’ trackpants, black beanie and white gloves.

The second was wearing a black hooded ‘LA’ sweatshirt with jeans and scuffs, and had a red bandana over his face.

Police said the man who was stabbed was still in hospital in a stable condition.

Earlier, an Invercargill woman told of hearing sirens that night, then seeing an armed policeman sprinting across the road.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said she had visitors at the time and one of them had returned from the store a short time before the crime occurred.

A police photographer documents evidence at the scene. PHOTOS: ABBEY PALMER
A police photographer documents evidence at the scene. PHOTOS: ABBEY PALMER

"She’d literally just been there to get some lollies ... she said it was pretty nerve-racking."

After hearing sirens speeding towards her Hensley St home, she, along with her daughter and friends, rushed to the window to see what was happening.

"I see an ambulance and all these police cars, next minute, there’s a cop sprinting across the intersection towards the store with a gun."

A few people came out of their houses to see what the cause of the commotion was.

"Everyone was like ‘whoa’, because we weren’t too sure if it was just a robbery or what, and then we heard about the stabbing."

In the car park following the attack, she could see a distressed female shop attendant.

"I could see her standing there in tears ... the ambulance was right in the driveway of the store."

Police cars were parked up at the corner of Hensley and Dee Sts on Friday morning.
Police cars were parked up at the corner of Hensley and Dee Sts on Friday morning.

Emergency responders appeared to have the situation under control quickly, but it had left the regular customer feeling "a little on edge".

"Sometimes I take my daughter down to get an ice-cream at night time, if she’s up a bit later.

"I guess it does make me worried to do that now.

"It might take me a bit of time before I go back there."

While it was the first time she had seen police at the dairy, she was "used to" a high amount of activity at the corner store, she said.

"From Thursday to Saturday, every week really, it’s quite busy there, with lots of cars and loud music, young ones drinking."

Forensic investigators took samples from the entrance to the store.
Forensic investigators took samples from the entrance to the store.

Police, forensic investigators and a police photographer were seen at the cordon about 10am yesterday morning.

A yellow piece of material was visible next to a police marker in the car park outside the store.

Neighbours stood outside their houses as police examined the scene.

Snr Sgt Harvey said police were speaking to witnesses.

"[We] encourage anyone who hasn’t made contact with police to come forward."

Victim support was being arranged for the people affected by the offending.

 

abbey.palmer@odt.co.nz

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