Four service stations have been robbed in Pakuranga in four days – three on Pakuranga Road and one on Reeves Road – with cigarettes and money the target.
Z service station on Pakuranga Road and Gull service station on Reeves Road were cordoned off this morning after both were victims of aggravated burglaries.
Police confirmed the two new incidents to the Times this morning.
Area commander, Counties Manukau East Police, inspector Wendy Spiller said three offenders used a hammer to break into both stores this morning and steal cigarettes.
Meanwhile, the BP service station on Pakuranga Road was robbed in the early hours of Monday morning and Caltex on Pakuranga Road on Tuesday morning.
Three offenders arrived in a vehicle at the BP service station on Pakuranga Road at about 4.15am on Monday and smashed their way into the store, a police spokeswoman told the Times.
They made off with cigarettes and a number of other items, she said.
The sole service station attendant on duty at the time was unharmed in the incident.
The police spokeswoman said on Monday that the police major crime unit was carrying out a number of enquiries into the incident, including obtaining CCTV footage.
On Tuesday morning, about 750 metres down the road from the BP, the Caltex service station on Pakuranga Road was ram-raided at 2am.
A staff member at Caltex confirmed to the Times that the service station locks its doors at night and customers pay through a security window.
He said a car rammed through the doors – there are no bollards protecting the doors – and two offenders stole cigarettes and two tills.
The sole employee on shift ran out the back and was unhurt. The robbery was caught on CCTV.
Police said that the two offenders left in the vehicle used in the ram-raid.
At about 1.40am this morning, the Gull service station on Reeves Road was robbed.
Police said three offenders in a stolen vehicle arrived at Gull and used a hammer to break in.
A Gull spokesman told the Times that there was one staff member on duty at the time and that the doors were locked.
He said that the offenders smashed through glass to get in and that they wanted cigarettes.
The spokesman said the offenders took cigarettes and that no money was taken.
The staff member managed to get to a safe room, he said.
They were shaken but unhurt, the spokesman said, and that that was the most important thing for Gull.
He said Gull Reeves Road had now installed a new cigarette dispensing system following the robbery, so only one packet comes out at a time for future protection.
About five minutes after the Gull robbery, the three offenders in the stolen car arrived at the Z service station on Pakuranga Road, a police spokeswoman told the Times.
She said they again used a hammer to break in and stole cigarettes.
Z’s corporate communications manager Jonathan Hill told the Times from Wellington that three robbers got away with a small amount of tobacco at around 1.45am this morning.
“They smashed their way into the site. The person (on-shift) got to the secure part of the site,” he said.
“The site was closed and may still be for forensic testing.”
The staff member involved has been offered counselling.
Z Pakuranga is a 24-hour site which locks its doors at night and accepts payments through a window.
“We basically carry no cash on the premises,” said Mr Hill.
The company has introduced a range of measures in a bid to minimise robberies.
“We’ve implemented a programme of increased security over the last 12 months costing millions of dollars making robbery of Z sites unattractive,” he said.
“It’s very disappointing this has happened.”
The stolen car used in both robberies this morning has been located by police on the corner of Macleans Road and Bleakhouse Road in Bucklands Beach.
The police spokeswoman said police have secured the scene where the car was found and are now conducting forensic tests and seeking witness statements.
By: Scott Yeoman, Laura Brookes and Nick Krause