Bay of Plenty Police are investigating four aggravated robberies in the span of six days.
Detective Sergeant George Staunton says a Kawerau man was parked near Curtis Road, near Tikitere on Thursday, May 24, when he was accosted from behind by two men.
“The men stole the contents of the victim’s wallet before driving off towards Lake Rotoma, in a silvery/brown Nissan Skyline.”
Both offenders are described as young male Maori, around 175cm tall and of medium build. George says both were wearing black hooded sweatshirts, sunglasses, bandanas and long pants.
He says one of the offenders was armed with what is believed to have been a firearm, described as a cut down side by side shotgun with a dark wood pistol grip.
The vehicle driven by the pair is described as being in tidy condition, with a moulded boot spoiler and wide, low profile tyres.
George says the second aggravated robbery happened around 7:20pm on Friday, May 25, where two offenders, one armed with what appeared to be a gun, robbed the Gull Service Station on Edmond Road, Rotorua.
“One demanded money from the till while the other stood nearby. They then ran out onto the forecourt area, one ran towards Homedale St and the other towards Linton Park.”
The offenders are described as young male Maori of average height and slight build.
The gun has been described as a semi-automatic pistol.
George says a third incident happened around 7pm on Sunday, May 27.
He says a male wearing a balaclava with his eyes revealed, entered the Koutu Road Four Square armed with a knife.
“The offender removed a till, however, before leaving the shop he was confronted by the shop owner who struck the robber across the head with a mop, forcing the offender to leave empty-handed.”
He says the offender also left behind a distinctive pink coloured ’Supre’ bag he had with him, before running off.
The shop owner gave chase for about 100 metres before losing sight of the offender, who is described as being of fat build, around 5 foot 10 in height, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with a grey diamond-like patterned sweatshirt over the top.
“We recovered a pair of black ’Darbi’ leather motorcycle style gloves, which we believe the offender discarded as he jumped a fence along Koutu Road into Taharangi Street.”
George says the knife used has been described as a kitchen knife, around 30 cm long with a black handle and has not been recovered.
The fourth aggravated robbery happened around 7:30pm on Wednesday, where two men brandishing knives entered the King Dragon Takeaway store situated at the Owhata Shops and demanded money.
“The owners picked up a pot and a chair and told the two offenders to leave. They then left running out onto Te Ngae Road, heading east.”
George says no one was physically hurt during any of these robberies, but it is unusual to have had four similar incidents occur so close together.
“We do not believe any of these four incidents are connected at this stage but would like to hear from anyone who has any information in relation to any of these robberies, which will greatly assist us in our enquiries.”
He says small business owners should also take the usual precautions when it comes to security measures and be extra vigilant.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to Police immediately.
Anyone with any information should phone Rotorua Police on (07) 349 9400 or
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.