ZB

Otaika liquor store ram raid latest of many

Author
Northern Advocate,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Jun 2022, 10:57am
Senior Constable Ryan Bailey at Liquorland Otaika after the burglary. Photo / Tania Whyte
Senior Constable Ryan Bailey at Liquorland Otaika after the burglary. Photo / Tania Whyte

Otaika liquor store ram raid latest of many

Author
Northern Advocate,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Jun 2022, 10:57am

A ram raid on Otaika Liquorland was the second in Whangārei in two weeks, concerning nearby retailers.

A vehicle was used to force entry to the shop in the early hours of yesterday morning.

"Police are investigating a burglary at a retail address in Whangārei overnight," a police spokesperson confirmed yesterday.

"A group of offenders have taken a number of items before fleeing from the scene in a vehicle. Our enquiries are ongoing into the burglary."

The ram raid occurred about 2.40am, police said.

Police were at the scene of the burglary yesterday morning and pieces of broken glass were still evident on the ground outside the store. The doors of the shop were heavily damaged.

An owner of a nearby shop, who did not want to be named, said his own shop had been ram raided five years ago. He installed bollards afterwards.

A manager of another shop in the area said the Liquorland ram raid was "concerning" for all the retailers in the area, and they were talking to their landlord about security measures.

The incident comes less than two weeks after Graeme Johnson Jewels and Time in Kamo were ram raided by a stolen car.

Steve Smith, chief executive of the Northland Chamber of Commerce, said owners of retail premises should consider putting in security measures to prevent ram raids.

"Those businesses do need to think about it - and I'm sure they are thinking about it - and possibly put into place some form of deterrent, bollards or whatever it is."

However, he said he had heard of businesses for whom security measures had not worked as well as intended, with ram raiders simply using larger vehicles.

Ram raids had major financial impacts for businesses, even those who were insured, Smith said.

"There are a number of ramifications for those shop owners of course. They either try to be pre-emptive which has a cost or they're moving after the event which doubles the cost and they get a triple whammy in that their insurance will probably have gone up."

It was inevitable that there would be more ram raids in the future by young people copying the current perpetrators," Smith said.

"What's apparently happening is these very young people, which is often what they are, are recruited so they essentially can't be charged with anything."

There has been a string of similar ram raids in Auckland in recent months. The latest was on a Stihl shop in Mt Albert early on Wednesday morning.

There was another on a petrol station in Northpark, East Auckland, just three days ago.

Another Liquorland in Auckland's Howick was ram raided twice in the space of a month recently.

Police commissioner Andrew Coster has said previously that many of the culprits were under 15 and not "productively engaged".

Last month, former police minister Poto Williams announced $6 million would be invested in a crime prevention programme which would install bollards and other protective structures.

"This funding will enable police to work closely with vulnerable small retailers to identify effective and practical solutions based on the particular features of each location," Williams said in a statement.

The police would manage the crime prevention programme.

Police asked anyone with information on the Liquorland Otaika burglary to contact them on 105, quoting job number P050926313.

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

- Angela Woods, Northern Advocate