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Porirua store owner was trying to stop theft when he was assaulted, friend claims

Author
Isaac Davison,
Publish Date
Sun, 8 Oct 2023, 4:22PM
The owner of the Mighty Dollar Shop in Porirua was attacked outside his store on Friday, a friend and neighbouring store owner said. He suffered a serious head injury and is in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital.
The owner of the Mighty Dollar Shop in Porirua was attacked outside his store on Friday, a friend and neighbouring store owner said. He suffered a serious head injury and is in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital.

Porirua store owner was trying to stop theft when he was assaulted, friend claims

Author
Isaac Davison,
Publish Date
Sun, 8 Oct 2023, 4:22PM

A Porirua store owner was believed to have been confronting a shoplifter when he was severely attacked, a friend says.

The 55-year-old man, a father of two, is in a critical condition in Wellington Hospital’s intensive care unit after the attack on Friday afternoon.

The attack took place outside the Mighty Dollar Shop on Hartham Place North, in central Porirua, around 2.50pm.

Shirley Ko, who owns the neighbouring store, said there were large crowds of people in the area at the time because people were shopping for White Sunday, a Samoan celebration.

At around 3pm, a person ran into her store in a panic, she said.

“Some customer said ‘someone died on the street, I need your help’.

“I just ran out, I found [the man] lying down on the street. I tried to call his name, I found his face and head all in blood.”

A crowd had gathered outside the shop and police had already been called, she said.

Up to 10 officers arrived at the scene very quickly, and an ambulance soon after. It was not clear whether a weapon was used in the attack.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hamish Blackburn said this morning that three men had gone to the store on Friday.

One of them entered the shop and the store owner followed him outside before being assaulted.

Police were still working to piece together what happened, Blackburn said.

Ko said she believed that the owner had attempted to stop the man from stealing items.

“I didn’t see, but I think he tried to stop them, grab some stuff back. I think this was the problem.”

Ko, who was close friends with the store owner and his family, said his condition was “very, very bad” and that he was being treated for a brain bleed.

The man was born in China and migrated to New Zealand at least 20 years ago. He had a wife and two daughters, who were now at his bedside in Wellington Hospital.

“It is really, really bad news,” Ko said. “We just pray, pray, pray for him.”

Ko said shoplifting was a common occurrence in the area. She had made a police report just a day before the attack after a young girl and boy tried to steal clothes from her store, Da Deals.

She had installed CCTV in her shop but most places were unable to pay for further security measures.

“We can’t afford it. We talk to our staff, if there is a shoplifter just let them go. Don’t follow them. Don’t make a really dangerous situation.”

Blackburn said a team of officers were working to identify those involved in the attack and were reviewing CCTV footage as part of this process.

Anyone was in the area at the time or had information relevant to the incident was asked to call police on 105 and quote file number 231007/8829.

“We would also encourage the three men seen at the store to come forward and speak to Police,” Blackburn said.

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

 

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