Teen admits role in armed robbery

By Sandra Conchie

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A third teen has admitted his role in the armed robbery of a petrol station.
A third teen has admitted his role in the armed robbery of a petrol station.

The third member of a Tauranga trio has admitted his role in the armed robbery of a local petrol station, including wielding a knife at the female attendant and demanding cigarettes.

Unemployed Pukawa Allan Shelford, 17, admitted aggravated robbery and two charges of theft in Tauranga District Court yesterday.

His co-offenders Kelvin John Guttery, 20, and Ari Higgins, 22, who pleaded guilty to the same charges on July 3 were remanded in custody pending sentencing on August 11.

Shelford, who has been granted bail, will be sentenced on the same date.

The robbery was committed at Z Service Station on 11th Avenue about 10pm on June 29 after Higgins and Guttery picked up Shelford from a Brookfield park.

Before doing so, the trio carried out two petrol drive offs - one at the same Z Service station and the other at Tauriko Caltex station, stealing $242.81 worth of petrol.

The three men then drove to Higgins' home in Brookfield and hatched the plan to rob the Z Service station for cash and cigarettes, intending to use the money to buy methamphetamine.

The trio then drove to the station and put their plan into action.

While Higgins waited in the car, Guttery and Shelford, both armed with weapons, entered the store as the female attendant opened the locked doors to another customer.

Once the customer left, the attendant confronted Guttery about his suspicious behaviour.

Guttery, armed with knuckle dusters and his face hidden, approached the counter and placed a backpack on it and said: "give me all the money in the till."

Shelford, who was holding a knife raised it and asked for all the smokes, and thrust the knife in the store attendant's direction.

She put the cigarettes into the bag and handed over the till.

As Shelford ran off through the carwash he dropped the knife and till, but the items were retrieved by Guttery, and the pair hopped into the getaway car and Higgins drove off at speed.

Back at Higgins' place the trio began dividing up the cash and cigarettes, and Higgins began smashing up the till but the group were disturbed by a sleeping occupant at the house.

Higgins and Guttery put the till into a plastic bag intending to discard it during a walk, but as they left the house they were arrested by police in the driveway.

Shelford was arrested inside the address where police also found 20 packets of cigarettes, one already open and $50.80 in cash - about $180 is estimated to have been stolen from the Z station.

The knife was found lying in the back seat of the vehicle, and the knuckle dusters were found in Guttery's pockets. Shelford and one of the other two men are keen to participate in a restorative justice meeting with their victims, the court was told.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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