Robbed shop owner won't press charges

File photo / 123rf
File photo / 123rf

The owner of a dairy frequented by shoplifters says he did not want to press charges against the alleged offenders in the latest incident - because he knows them.

Kerry Wang, the owner of Mt Albert Dairy in Auckland said a young man who frequented the shop and lives near the New North Rd store entered about 5.40pm to purchase a drink which he did not want to pay for.

Wang said that when he told the man he had to pay for it, he was "not happy".

"He hit me and lots of people came into the shop to help me."

According to Wang, the man, who a witness reported was with about five others, is a regular customer at the dairy and on several occasions has not had enough money to pay for items, which Wang has sold at a cheaper price.

"I don't want to charge [the man]. He put the drink back afterwards.

"If they come back I will tell them to go away," said Wang.

Mt Albert resident Hannah Kay said she was driving past the dairy when she saw the events unfolding and called police.

"I saw a group of people in a semi-circle outside the dairy and when I looked closer I saw the owner and a man in a blue hoodie had each other by the collar."

Kay said the man had his back turned to the road and it looked like the owner was pushing him out of the store.

A police spokesperson confirmed police responded to "a call from a member of the public about a minor incident at a dairy on New North Rd ... The owner of the dairy did not wish to pursue the matter with police as the young people involved were known to him and the situation had been resolved."

They would not be taking further action.

"Based on the information provided to us, and our own thorough assessment of the incident, we have concluded the incident was of a minor nature and does not warrant further action."

A legal expert said a victim can express to police they don't want an alleged offender charged, but it was up to the discretion of the police. If police had sufficient evidence, they may choose to go ahead with charges.

For example, if a woman had been beaten by her partner and police attended, saw her injuries and she made a statement about the incident, police can press charges as they have sufficient evidence even if she later wants to drop those charges.

Wang said there have been numerous incidents of shoplifting at the dairy in the four years he has owned it.

- NZ Herald

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