Dairy owners respond to rash of burglaries

Invercargill dairies have ramped up security following a string of robberies.
Invercargill dairies have ramped up security following a string of robberies.
Invercargill dairy owners are ramping up their security after nine reported robberies and burglaries in the past six months.

Some small business owners have installed video cameras, alarm systems, fog machines and closed businesses earlier, in response.

Between August and November, police reported six dairies and one petrol station had been targeted and some businesses had been hit twice.

Newfield Dairy, in Centre St, was broken into twice in the same week last month.

At the time, part-owner Christine Radka said a group of offenders returned for the second time in less than 48 hours after an unsuccessful attempt to break into the cigarette cabinet.

Police had since arrested and charged those involved, she said.

"We've been more relaxed since they [police] caught them, but it's still worrying knowing they're [burglaries] still going on."

Security measures at the store had been increased since the incidents, she said yesterday.

"Even if they don't get away with much there's still the uneasiness and disruption on the staff."

Mrs Radka said it was a shame break-ins now seemed to be a part of being an Invercargill dairy owner.

Grasmere Grocery employee Vincent Xie said he was in the back of his shop in May, when two masked offenders entered wielding golf clubs.

"I heard a smash and when I came out I saw two young guys with their faces covered - I could just see their eyes."

About $2000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.

Despite the fact the owner had installed four new video cameras since, he was still very scared, he said.

"If they bring a gun ... what am I going to do?

"I close the store earlier at night now."

He blamed the increasing cost of cigarettes for the attack on his workplace.

Two males aged 19 and 17 have been charged with the Grasmere incident.

Invercargill police were asked for comment but were unable to respond at the time.

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