Armed robbers: 'We're not robbing you, we're robbing the Govt'

Author
Kelly Makiha, NZ Herald ,
Section
News,
Publish Date
Monday, 20 May 2019, 11:43AM
Police at Lynmore BP on December 10 last year after the aggravated robbery. Photo / File
Police at Lynmore BP on December 10 last year after the aggravated robbery. Photo / File

A man who has admitted his role in an armed hold-up of BP service station in Rotorua told the staff he and another man robbing the station were not robbing them but instead robbing the Government.

Remo Tauwari Waikato, 29, has pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery of the BP Lynmore about 2am on December 10 last year.

The details of the case have just been released to the Rotorua Daily Post.

A police summary of facts said Waikato and another man, who is still before the court, concocted the plan to rob the service station while drinking at a central Rotorua backpackers where they lived.

They left the backpackers shortly before 2am and parked on Iles Rd close to the intersection with Te Ngae Rd.

They ran across Te Ngae Rd. The co-offender was armed with a rifle that had a bolt action with a suppressor.

There were two staff members working at the time. One was behind the counter and the other was near the counter stocking shelves.

The co-offender was described in the summary of facts as the "main aggressor". He pointed the firearm at the staff member behind the counter and demanded he give them cash and 50g tobacco.

Waikato put a backpack on the counter and the staff member emptied $122.40 from two tills and 46 packets of 30g and 50g tobacco into the bag. The tobacco was valued at $2824.10.

While the co-offender pointed the rifle at the staff member the entire time, Waikato tried to calm the victims by telling them they were "not robbing them, they were robbing the Government", the summary of facts said.

They then ran back to their car and drove away.

Waikato later told police he was struggling for money and was "hanging with the wrong crowd".

The summary of facts said Waikato was polite during the robbery and was trying to calm the victims. He said he got 20 packets of tobacco and $20 cash for his part in the robbery.

The summary of facts described him as being "extremely remorseful" for his actions.

He has been remanded to reappear in the Rotorua District Court for sentencing on June 25.

Rotorua courthouse. Photo / File
Rotorua courthouse. Photo / File
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