Whanganui McDonald's robber sentenced to three years and four months' jail with no parole

By James Baker

A police cordon at the McDonald's on Victoria Ave, Whanganui, in June 2015. Photo / Stuart Munro
A police cordon at the McDonald's on Victoria Ave, Whanganui, in June 2015. Photo / Stuart Munro

A man who held up McDonald's in Whanganui with a knife has been given time behind bars.

And his partner who swiped a getaway car also faces jail time.

Chase Whareaorere - his face covered - entered McDonald's in Victoria Ave in the early hours of June 23, 2015, holding a knife and demanded money from a staff member, according to police reports at the time.

"The man had gone to an effort to cover his face and the staff member, fearing for their safety as well as their colleagues', handed over an unknown amount of cash," Detective Sergeant Phil Taylor said.

"Shortly after this, the offender left the scene and got into a waiting vehicle that was then driven away.

"The four staff members did not sustain any injuries and have been offered the services of Victim Support."

Officers later found the Subaru getaway car abandoned in Selwyn Crescent.

Yesterday, Whareaorere pleaded guilty to the aggravated robbery in Whanganui District Court and was given three years and four months imprisonment.

Detective Constable James Oxtoby said police were unable to conclusively identify Whareaorere as the man who entered the building. The Crown prosecution was, however, able to connect him to the planning of the robbery.

Sheldon Rogerson was convicted for taking the car used in the robbery and pleaded guilty to one count of conversion of a vehicle, and was sentenced to three months in jail.

The jury trial began Monday with Crown prosecutor Chris Wilkinson-Smith calling four witnesses, including a McDonald's staff member who witnessed the robbery, a taxi driver and an associate who heard part of the planning of the robbery. A man whose car was stolen was able to identify his vehicle from the CCTV footage.

The jury was played security video which showed the Subaru pulling up to McDonald's and the robber entering with a knife.

Whareaorere stole $2705 from the restaurant. He and Rogerson had pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed their pleas yesterday.

Mr Wilkinson-Smith said the conviction was significant because it was Whareaorere's second strike offence which meant he would serve his whole sentence without parole.

- NZ Herald

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