Sukhpreet Singh Taggar has a message for those committing aggravated robberies around Whanganui.

"Work and earn some money to get it instead of doing these things."

Mr Taggar is the store manager of Black Bull Liquor in Whanganui East, which on Thursday night became the 12th Whanganui store in as many months - and third in two weeks - to be robbed.

"At the end of the day they're going to get caught," Mr Taggar said. "So there is no fun in doing it. But they still don't care about that."

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Another staff member was in the store after 9pm when three people came in with hammers and a rod, Mr Taggar said.

The threatened staff member and took cash, a few bottles of spirits and cigarettes.

"I just came back straight away."

The store has been open for three years and it was the first time it had been robbed.

"Shoplifting is something different, it usually happens, but robbery, this is the first time," Mr Taggar said.

He said he did worry about security but felt there was not much more he could do.

"We could get more staff but as I say it's not the solution, they can come in with more people."

Black Bull Liquor store manager Sukhpreet Singh Taggar thinks cigarettes are the main target of store robberies. Photo/ Bevan Conley
Black Bull Liquor store manager Sukhpreet Singh Taggar thinks cigarettes are the main target of store robberies. Photo/ Bevan Conley

Cigarettes were the main target of the robberies, he believed, as they were the common item at locations recently robbed around Whanganui.

"This is the only thing they come for. No matter how many bottles they grab - they can grab six or seven - the main concern is the cigarettes.

"It's just going up and up. That's the main reason robberies are going up."

Mr Taggar said it was probably only a handful of people carrying out these robberies and was hopeful police and the community could get on top of it.

"The neighbours are really good. A month ago somebody kicked my door and straight away they called the police."