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Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Manager in shock after club holdup

Onehunga Bowling Club. File photo / Geoff Dale
Onehunga Bowling Club. File photo / Geoff Dale

The bar manager of an Auckland bowling club was unable to sleep for two days after being robbed at gunpoint and told he would have his leg blown off.

Three masked men, armed with two sawn-off shotguns and a crowbar, forced six members of the Onehunga Bowling Club to the ground as they robbed the venue on Friday night.

The duty bar manager was then told he would be shot if he did not empty the safe and the poker machines.

The 23-year-old bar manager, who did not want to be named, said he could not sleep on Friday or Saturday nights after the 8.30pm robbery.

He had been about to close up when the trio burst into the bar.

"They were wielding their weapons. They put all the members down on the ground and then proceeded to make me get all the money.

"I got them the money from the safe out the back and then they ordered me to get the money from the pokies. They were shouting all sorts, like 'I'll blow your leg off'."

One of the men, who the bar manager said seemed older and calmer, stood over the six club members - thought to be in their 50s - with one shotgun, making sure they did not move.

The man with the other gun kept the weapon aimed at the bar manager, shouting directions at him as he collected the money. He appeared agitated, the manager said.

Within five minutes the trio were out of the club with "a lot of money". And it was not until they had fled that the terror sank in, he said.

"Afterwards, it was like, holy s***. I didn't sleep for the next two nights ... I kept thinking about it. It was so well planned."

Police have checked video footage and found items of interest nearby, according to a spokeswoman.

Club chairman Brian Hart said the premises had been burgled before, but never robbed while staff or members were present.

The offenders were described as Maori or Pacific Islanders, tall and of medium build. They were wearing dark clothes and balaclavas.

- NZ Herald

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