Vet centre to boost security after raid

By Sonya Bateson

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A vet centre owner has vowed to tighten security by putting in cameras, secured doors and panic buttons after masked assailants robbed a female worker.

Two people armed with a baton and wearing balaclavas entered Brookfield Veterinary Centre on Otumoetai Rd on Wednesday evening and threatened the employee.

They fled with cash, drugs and property. A third person drove them from the scene.

The woman who was robbed said the attack had shaken her and left her angry afterwards.

"I'm taking it step by step. Driving from home to work I started shaking and felt sick," she told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"You always hope it won't happen to you but you wonder how you would react."

The staff member, who spoke on condition she was not identified, said her boss and colleagues had been supportive, and Victim Support and police had also been helpful.

Vet centre owner Scott Raleigh said he had met a security expert yesterday and would be putting in extra measures to make a repeat almost impossible. "We will have CCTV, digital door opening, number pad entry and panic buttons. There will also be a safe room with one-way entry and a phone jack."

Dr Raleigh said he was proud of the way his staff member had responded and said she had done everything by the book.

"We've never had anything like this happen before but we have talked about what we should do if it did happen. I told her to come in today and have a coffee and a chat, and she came in with her uniform on ready to go."

Dr Raleigh said police had returned the stolen goods yesterday.

Three Tauranga people charged with the Brookfield aggravated robbery appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

Lucy Jane Kellick, 26, and Cathy Anne Davies, 33, were released on bail subject to strict conditions, including a ban on going within 1km of the Brookfield shopping centre.

Judge Peter Rollo remanded Colin Thomas Borthwick, 33, in custody.

No pleas were entered and the accused are due back in court on August 12.

Other vet clinic robberies

A Wellington vet nurse was uninjured after a man forced his way into a clinic and demanded drugs in November 2012.

A man pointed a gun at staff at a Pukekohe clinic and demanded cash in September 2012.

Three cleaners at a vet clinic in Mangere Bridge were threatened by an armed man and his accomplice in June 2010 and had some of their belongings stolen.

A man threatened staff at a Mangere Bridge clinic with a large knife, demanding money from the till in April 2010.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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