Four Square targeted again, this time by kids

By Patrick O'Sullivan

Derek and Emma Stannard love the support their customers are showing them after three attacks on their business within two weeks. Photo/Paul Taylor
Derek and Emma Stannard love the support their customers are showing them after three attacks on their business within two weeks. Photo/Paul Taylor

Despite being burgled twice and robbed at knifepoint in two weeks, Derek and Emma Stannard still believe they live in a great community.

The couple say although theyve had three ugly incidents within a short period, they were determined to continue running the Frimley Four Square store.

In the latest incident, six children, aged 10 to 15, were arrested by police while breaking into their store late on Saturday night. The same store was robbed by a knife-wielding man fewer than two weeks ago.

Mr Stannard said he was grateful for the support shown by locals after he was woken by police yesterday. He remained at the store until 1.30am.

"It was the same night as the Lindisfarne ball so a lot of our customers were still awake, waiting for people to get home."

"Some of them saw the police down here and brought us in coffee and biscuits."

Eastern District Command Centre Acting Senior Sergeant Clint Adamson said a member of the public phoned police shortly before 11pm to say a group was acting suspiciously outside the store and noises were heard.

Six young burglars were trying to get into the Four Square store, he said.

"We caught them at the scene, which was a good result."

Mr Adamson praised the neighbour for ringing police.

"They just saw some people hanging around on bikes and heard some noises - so it wasn't anything specific but they decided to give us a call."

"As a result we got there in time and got the six into custody."

The youngest was 10 years old and the oldest 15.

The youngest pair were taken straight home and a couple of the older ones would be appearing in Youth Court, he said.

The Stannard family has owned the store since March. Mr Stannard was a Foodstuffs store manager in Cambridge and Wellington, until the couple decided to start their own business in Hawkes Bay, where Mrs Stannard was born. It is a new Four Square. Five former shop premises were joined to create the first dairy or general store in Frimley in 20 years.

Mr Stannard has replaced the front door three times.

As well as the latest incident, two weeks ago the door needed replacing after four teenage girls rode their bikes from Camberley to break into the store.

On May 8, a man wearing a balaclava entered the store with a knife and threatened Mr Stannard.

He stood on the counter demanding cash, running off with a small amount.

He was last seen running into Nottingley Rd, about 50m away. Police were investigating. It is not something you would want to experience again, Mr Stannard said.

Security at the store had been strengthened.

After every negative incident his customers had expressed sympathy and support.

"People have been really lovely - we really appreciate that.

They say how much they love us and how we are not allowed to go anywhere."

The store owner believed locals were not responsible for the negative incidents.

"It was unsavoury people from other areas."

"The support we have had from the locals is amazing - we are not going anywhere."

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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