A 19-year-old man yesterday admitted the aggravated robberies of two Napier service stations, including one in which he slashed the arm of a sole attendant with a machete.
Hunter Waihape (aka Turipa) pleaded guilty in a Napier District Court appearance by audio visual link from prison.
The mid-evening robberies, targeting cigarettes and cash, happened at the Caltex Hyderabad Rd station on the night of Friday, August 19, and the Mobil Taradale Rd station the following Monday.
It was at the Taradale Rd station that the machete-wielding and masked Waihape swept behind the counter and slashed the arm of attendant Tahul Raghunath, causing a gash which required three stitches.
According to the police summary, Mr Raghunath feared for his life and handed over $840 in cash and eight packets of Winfield Blue 25s cigarettes, before the raid was interrupted by the arrival of an unwitting customer, who quickly left the shop.
Waihape then fled the station and crossed the road to Trinity Cr and a waiting green Nissan Cefiro car which had been seen in the area before the robbery.
Three nights earlier Waihape went to the rear of the Hyderabad Rd station, donned a mask, covered himself with other dark clothing and armed himself with a hammer which he then brandished at the station attendant as he demanded cash and cigarettes.
He was given money from the till, ran to the door to check no one was coming, and went back to the counter demanding "more smokes" and ordering the attendant to put them in a bag the robber carried.
Cigarettes worth $1503.46 were stuffed into the bag, and a demand for "tailormades" was followed by the stashing of more stock worth $535.94.
Waihape then fled the shop and ran behind the station, where the removal of his mask exposed his distinctive orange or bleached hair, seen by the victim in the robbery.
The summary said that in an August 25 search of the property where Waihape stayed and when he was arrested the next day police found several of the items identified as having been worn in the robberies, including the mask, a bag, two pairs of gloves and a pair of shoes.
Waihape had claimed to police he had found the bag, and couldn't remember where he was on the nights of the robberies.
Represented by lawyer Eric Forster, he was remanded in continued custody for sentence in the court on October 10, with each charge liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years' jail.
Waihape also faces unrelated charges of assault and indecent assault on a woman which will be called in the court next week.
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