Store break-ins, ram-raids keeping cops busy

Among the numerous local businesses ram-raided so far this year are, from left, LiquorLand Howick, David Fels Jeweller in Howick, and Centre Superette in Bucklands Beach. Photo supplied, Times photo Chris Harrowell, and supplied

Several teenagers have been referred to the police’s Youth Aid service following a burglary at an east Auckland store, but the people responsible for two recent local ram-raids are yet to be identified.

Three stores in Howick village were targeted by thieves in the early hours of March 8.

Paper Plus on Picton Street and Honeybun Jewellers and Vaporian Republic vape store in Moore Street were each broken into.

Valuable watches were among the items stolen from the jewellery store.

A police spokesperson says investigators have identified two alleged offenders following the burglary of the Picton Street business in the early hours of March 8.

“Two 17-year-olds have been referred to Youth Aid following police enquiries.

“No charges have been laid at this stage in relation to burglaries at two further Howick stores that occurred around the same time.

“Police have been investigating these incidents however both burglaries have been filed as all other lines of enquiry have been exhausted.

“Police remain open to receiving any new information on these incidents, which will be assessed for any further follow-up.”

These aren’t the only east Auckland businesses impacted by crime in recent months.

Ormiston Town Centre in Flat Bush was targeted in two ram-raids in April while Centre Superette in Wharf Road, Bucklands Beach, was damaged and ransacked by thieves during a ram-raid just before 4am on January 19.

A group of people also caused extensive damage during a ram-raid burglary at LiquorLand Howick in Elliot Street at about 5am on April 3.

A vehicle was crashed into the store before the thieves created a gap and crawled inside under a window frame.

Joss Granger, the store’s owner-operator, said she sat in her car and cried when she arrived at the business and saw the damage it had sustained in the incident.

“Watching the [CCTV] footage feels really violating.

“To see people ransack your property like that with complete disregard.”

Granger said the thieves stole packets of cigarettes and nine or 10 bottles of Malibu rum.

A stolen vehicle was recovered at the scene and police are investigating.

David Fels Jeweller in Picton Street was damaged in a ram-raid burglary just before midnight on April 4.

The offenders drove a stolen vehicle through the front of the business, then reversed out and manoeuvred the store’s grill to gain access.

They got inside, smashed several cabinets, and “helped themselves to the stock”, owner David Fels said at the time.

“I’ve had break-ins before, but not for quite a long time and never a ram-raid,” he said.

The thieves fled the scene in a stolen vehicle, according to police.

The police spokesperson says enquiries into the ram-raids at LiquorLand Howick and David Fels Jeweller are ongoing.

People with information on the burglaries at Honeybun Jewellers or Vaporian Republic can phone police on 105, quoting file numbers 220307/1962 and 220308/2442 respectively, or phone the free and anonymous Crimestoppers tip-off line on 0800 555 111.

People with information on the ram-raids at LiquorLand Howick or David Fels Jeweller can phone police quoting file numbers 220403/1136 and 220405/7496 respectively.