Thursday, June 13, 2024

Ram-raid victim “violated” over store break-in

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The people who used a vehicle to break into LiquorLand Howick caused significant damage to the building. Photo supplied

Joss Granger sat in her car and cried when she arrived at her east Auckland business and saw the damage it had sustained at the hands of ram-raiding thieves.

The owner-operator of LiquorLand Howick says she felt violated after her Elliot Street store was broken into and ransacked by a group of people at about 5am on April 3.

“At first they tried to kick and break the window and were throwing something at it,” she told the Times.

“That obviously didn’t work so then they used one of the stolen vehicles [they were in] to ram it.”

Granger says her store’s CCTV recorded the incident and the footage has been passed to police, who are investigating.

The thieves weren’t able to get the vehicle completely through the wall of the store but managed to create a gap and crawl inside under the window frame, she says.

“Neighbours said the noise was insane from the tyres screeching and then hitting the building.

“We’ve got people up the top of Elliot Street and up the top of Gibraltar Street all saying they heard it.”

She says the group stole packets of cigarettes and nine or 10 bottles of Malibu rum.

“They ransacked behind the counter area and pulled all the tills apart.

“We leave them open so you can see there’s no money in there but they still went through it anyway.”

Granger says she felt emotional seeing the damage caused to the store.

“When I pulled into the driveway I just sat in my car and cried because I wasn’t expecting that.

“It was a huge shock when I first got here, and to have police all over the place.

“Watching the [CCTV] footage feels really violating.

“To see people ransack your property like that with complete disregard. We’re all finding it rough at the moment and this adds insult to injury on top of everything else.”

The tow truck driver who removed the vehicle used in the ram raid at her store told her he’s being called “to go and pull a car out of a building” every night, Granger says.

“I’m not sure what they [the thieves] were trying to achieve but they certainly made enough damage and caused us enough of a headache.”

A police spokesperson says officers responded to reports of a ram raid at a retail premises in Elliot St at about 5.05am on April 3.

“The offenders fled before police arrived, however a stolen vehicle was recovered at the scene.

“A forensic examination was subsequently conducted and police are following positive lines of enquiry.”

The incident follows a ram raid burglary at David Fels Jeweller in Picton Street, Howick, just before midnight on April 4, a ram raid at a dairy in Chapel Road, Flat Bush, in late March, and break-ins at Paper Plus, also in Picton Street, and Honeybun Jewellers and a vape store in Moore Street overnight on March 7-8.

People with information on the ram raid at LiquorLand Howick can phone police quoting file number 220403/1136, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers tip-off line on 0800 555 111.

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