Aggravated robbery in Te Ngae (update)

A masked man armed with a knife tried to kick through a Rotorua service station door before trying to smash his way in through a window.

Rotorua police had cordoned off part of Caltex Fix on the corner of Te Ngae Rd and Owhata Rd yesterday while they investigated an aggravated robbery at the service station. The station's night pay window and pump five were cordoned off with police emergency tape while police took fingerprints.

Service station manager Prasad Pilla said a man wearing a hoodie over his head and a mask, presented a knife to the sole staff member at the night pay window about 10.50pm on Wednesday.

"The guy was wearing a dark hoodie. He showed a knife, telling staff `I want the money'.''

However, the 24-year-old worker refused to hand over any cash and immediately pushed a panic alarm and rang police.

"We have a good security system and our staff have good training. He did everything right.''

The robber then  tried to get in through the door which had been locked by staff about 9pm, Mr Pilla said.

"He was banging on the door threatening our staff. He couldn't get in so started kicking the door about three or four times.''

However, a customer arrived and the robber ran behind the service station trying to find an other way in before running off, Mr Pilla said.

"He ran around the back and broke the glass in the office window. He was determined but police were on their way,'' he said.

Mr Pilla said they had pictures of the armed man, who he believed was a teen.

"We have some very good shots of the guy. He looks below 20,'' he said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith of the Rotorua CIB said one person had been arrested and charged in relation to the robbery.

He said police inquiries were continuing and officers were looking for other people who may have been involved in the incident.

Mr Smith said anyone who was in the area at the time of the robbery, or anyone who saw anything suspicious, should contact Rotorua police.

Meanwhile, Taupo's Lucky Lizard bar in Richmond Ave was robbed at gunpoint about 10.30pm on Wednesday.

Detective Sergeant Tony Manunui said two offenders took cash and there was several patrons in the bar at the time.

He said no one was injured but those there were shaken.

The offenders were described as male Maori or Pacific Islanders. They used a car during the robbery which was stolen earlier that night.

Information can be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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