A Hastings dairy owner is in a serious condition after two offenders beat him with a "sharp object" as they escaped the store during an early morning burglary.
Yesterday at about 1.55am, Lantern Light Dairy owner Lance Mackie was alerted to the activation of the shop's alarm before he stumbled upon two male offenders in black clothing attempting to flee the store.
Detective Sergeant Craig Vining said Mr Mackie was then struck on the head and hand by a third offender with an "unknown sharp object" and received several injuries, including cuts to the head and arm and abrasions and grazes. Mr Mackie's partner, Mary Mathieson, said the shop owner underwent surgery for his injuries at Hawke's Bay Hospital yesterday, including three torn tendons in his leg. A hospital spokeswoman said Mr Mackie was in a serious but stable condition.
Ms Mathieson added the CCTV footage of the attack was "dark" and inconclusive but hoped the trio would be identified soon. They had made off with cigarettes and petty cash from the shop, on the corner of Willowpark Rd North and Grove Rd.
Hastings police urged members of the public to come forward with information about the incident after the offenders were last seen on Willowpark Rd North heading towards Jervois St, in Hastings. One Lantern Light Dairy staff member believed the offenders may have been the same group which burgled the store only a few months ago and added yesterday's robbery was not the first time the store had been targeted by violent offenders.
On August 31, 2010, shop attendants were left shaken after a man brandishing a sawn-off shotgun stole cash and tobacco from the dairy. Mr Mackie said at the time it was the first armed robbery he had experienced in the 14 years he has owned the dairy.
In December 2010, 18-year-old Ricky Lee Koroheke was sentenced to six years in prison for the Lantern Light Dairy shotgun raid and a separate aggravated store robbery.