Police have arrested 14 young people over smash and grab raids in the past week in Auckland and Hamilton
Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers says Police recognise the community’s concern at “brazen” incidents and are working tirelessly to hold offenders to account.
He says Auckland City Police have arrested six people following an aggravated robbery at St Lukes mall last Tuesday.
He says they are also looking into other aggravated robberies and burglaries across Tāmaki Makaurau that they allege the group is responsible for.
The Operation Rhino investigation team arrested and charged an 18-year-old man and five youths overnight for their involvement in a robbery of a retail store within the Westfield St Lukes complex on September 20.
St lukes westfield 20/09/2022♬ original sound - Steven P
That smash and grab was captured in a video posted on TikTok showing a group of people storming the mall's Stewart Dawsons jewellery store.
The video shows the group smashing several glass cabinets before fleeing the scene with stolen goods.
“We continue to appeal for anyone with information, including footage of any incidents, to please get in touch,” Chambers says.
The six alleged offenders, along with two other youths, have also been charged with conspiring to commit aggravated robbery after the group was found by Police in two vehicles in East Auckland on Monday night.
Some jewellery and other items were found by the investigation team when they searched the vehicles.
All eight alleged offenders arrested overnight will appear in the Auckland District Court and Youth Courts.
Another alleged youth offender has already been charged with involvement in this matter, which is now before the Youth Court.
Hamilton robbery arrests
One of the people arrested in East Auckland last night has also been charged in relation to the aggravated robbery of Michael Hill Jeweller at The Base in Hamilton on Sunday.
Police are continuing to investigate that robbery.
Meanwhile, six young people were arrested following a robbery at a Hamilton bottle store.
Police were called to the store in Borman Road in Flagstaff about 6:50pm yesterday to reports the store had been robbed.
Offenders had entered the store on foot armed with weapons including machetes, tyre irons, and screwdrivers.
They threatened the shopkeepers with the weapons and drove off in two vehicles.
One of the vehicles was seen a short time later by Police staff on Hukanui Road, before it was located again on Chedworh Place.
Officers quickly set up cordons and soon found all six believed to have been involved in the robbery, from the two vehicles.
Some of the weapons were located inside the vehicles, and another in a nearby garden.
Two of the young people were due in Hamilton Youth Court today, while the four others are due in court tomorrow [Wednesday].
Smash and grab robberies and ram raids have increased dramatically over recent years and many have been found to be 18 or under.
Police ask for witness of such events or who have captured the incidents on their phones to call Police on 105 or online at https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105, using ‘Update My Report’ referencing file number 220920/9009.