Disturbing footage of a dairy worker violently attacked in his store by four masked men armed with knives has been released by police.
The hapless dairy worker is repeatedly slammed to the floor, beaten about the head and put in a choker hold with a large knife held to his throat as his South Auckland shop is robbed of cigarettes. He suffers facial injuries and bruises across his body in the attack.
Counties Manukau Detective Inspector Fa'amanuia Va'aelua warns the footage of the attack will shock but hopes it will lead to arrests.
"I have no doubt that someone will recognise these absolute cowards from this footage and from the stills that we posted yesterday," he said.
"We are asking for anyone with information to please contact oolice immediately. We need to identify and catch these offenders as soon as possible. They are violent, dangerous and need to be held to account for what they have done," said Va'aelua.
The vicious attack happened at 7.30pm on Tuesday. The shopkeeper is seen working in front of the counter of the Kingsford Superette on Raglan St. Another person is behind the counter.
Masked men armed with knives storm into the dairy when his back is turned.
He is shoved into a freezer unit and falls to the ground, then is struck in the head. He is then restrained in a strangle hold by one of the attackers, a knife brandished close to his face, while the group ransack the shop's cigarette cabinet.
The woman behind the counter cowers but complies with instructions to open a locked unit.
The attack is over within 28 terrifying seconds.
Counties Manukau Major Crime Team Detective Senior Sergeant Albie Alexander described it as an absolutely abhorrent attack involving an excessive level of violence.
"These offenders need to be held accountable. They are a danger to the public and this level of violence is totally unacceptable. Our community should be safe to go about their business."
He said police were focused on catching the offenders. So far 68 people had been arrested for aggravated robberies across Auckland since February.
Detectives had examined the scene and reviewed security footage from the robbery.
Alexander appealed to family and friends of those involved to come forward.
"This is absolutely disgusting behaviour and these individuals should be ashamed of themselves. There is a high chance that these offenders are easily identifiable to family and friends and we are asking them to do the right thing and notify police."
Dairy owners across South Auckland fed up with being targeted by robbers this month held public meetings, desperate to end the violence.
It followed an earlier march where 700 people signed a petition calling for authorities to better protect shopkeepers.
During the meeting NZ First leader Winston Peters blamed a lack of police and increase in population as reasons for the rise in small-business crime.
Police are asking people to call the Counties Manukau Major Crime Team on (09) 261 1300 or anonymously on Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 with any information about the robbery.