Theories revealed after attacks

By Amy McGillivray

It's in a quiet neighbourhood, but that might be the reason criminals are targeting Arataki Superette.

The latest scare came on Wednesday when a man with a hood and a piece of cloth covering his face walked into the superette, scaring the owner into activating a panic alarm and taking cover behind the counter.

Police praised her quick actions which had caused the man to flee.

The store owner has been the victim of three aggravated robberies in the past four years.

Nearby resident James Davies said it was a quiet area and not dangerous.

"That's probably the problem. There's not a lot of traffic and there's not a lot of people."

Mr Davies said he was not worried about the safety of the area but was concerned for the well-known and liked shopkeeper.

"I'm just worried for the owner. It must have a terrible effect on her," he said. "She's very, very nice. I think her nerves must be shattered by now."

The owner of Arataki Takeaways, who wanted to be known only as Keith, agreed the area was no different from anywhere else.

"It's quite a nice area around here. It's just a bit isolated really and it's not on the main road."

He said he was not worried for his safety because it seemed the offenders were simply opportunists who saw the lone female store keeper as an easy target.

Senior Sergeant Lew Warner said it came down to the type of business rather than the area.

"There's other areas that get hit predominantly - it's a similar situation.

"I think it's more the opportunity and the type of business," he said. "Historically a lot of our dairies get hit quite a bit. I don't think [crime in] Arataki is any more prevalent than anywhere else."

Mr Warner said he could not say with confidence that the latest incident was an attempted robbery as the man did not get a chance to say anything before the alarm sounded.

"The actions of that particular person were quite sinister," he said.

"You don't often go into dairies with your hood up and a piece of material over your face."

Police had not found the man.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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