Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Four robberies in two days blamed on 'out-of-towners'

The latest robbery, at Waihi's Mobil service station, occurred in the early hours of the morning. Photo / File
The latest robbery, at Waihi's Mobil service station, occurred in the early hours of the morning. Photo / File

Waihi police are investigating the break-in at the town's Mobil service station, the fourth business to be targeted in Eastern Waikato over the past two days.

Waihi police sergeant Aaron Fraser says police are currently at the scene investigating the burglary of the Mobil, which occurred at about 3am today.

"A male has forced his way into the service station and taken a small amount of cigarettes, a small amount of cash and some petrol vouchers."

The burglary is now the fourth to occur in the Eastern Waikato in two days after the Z petrol station in Ngatea was targeted by a group of robbers - one armed with an iron bar about 4.20am Monday - while a Caltex service station in Matamata was the target of a smash and grab 10 minutes later.

Mr Fraser says it's unclear if the robberies are linked, "but timing could suggest that there's some link between them".

Meanwhile in Morrinsville, early today, Sportsworld in Morrinsville was also broken into, Waikato police Senior Sergeant Damian Rangitutia says.

In the first aggravated robbery, at Z Ngatea the group of offenders - one armed with an iron bar - smashed in the door before taking an unknown quantity of cigarettes and cash from the scene.

The staff member who was working at the time managed to lock himself in a nearby room and was uninjured.

Police found the car used in the robbery - which had been earlier stolen from Auckland - dumped in the town. The group then fled in another vehicle.

In Matamata, two men were involved in a smash and grab at the Caltex service station in the town where an amount of cigarettes were also taken.

Mr Fraser says it appears that "out-of-towners" were likely responsible for the mayhem over the past 24 hours.

"At this stage it looks like we're getting out-of-towners coming into our patch and causing a few dramas."

Anyone with information regarding any of the robberies or burglaries is urged to contact Waikato police on 07 8586200.

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- NZ Herald

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