Police are still searching for information to help them catch two young males who accosted an elderly woman and her daughter with a knife in their home.

The aggravated burglary occurred about 8.15pm on Wednesday night at an address on Outram Rd in Akina, Hastings.

The young offenders, armed with a white-handled butcher knife and disguised with material over their faces, confronted the women and demanded money.

A struggle followed and the youths left on foot with a small amount of cash, leaving the women uninjured but shocked and distressed.


Detective Sergeant John McCarthy said it was "a random and very nasty attack".

Yesterday he confirmed the two offenders were still at large and there was no new information to release.

Police have asked the community to help identify the offenders, requesting those in the neighbourhood check their properties for the knife, discarded clothing or the handbag that was stolen during the encounter.

"The investigation is ongoing so we certainly need support from the local community to apprehend these two offenders.

"Anything they may have seen or heard; they were possibly juvenile, teenage offenders with dark clothing."

Mr McCarthy said such crimes were motivated by money, often to support drug habits, but this type of offending was very random.

"We certainly haven't found a pattern of it," he said.

This is a one-off, random [incident]."

Victim support had been advised and was working with the women involved, who were also receiving ongoing support from police, he said.

Yesterday police were speaking with neighbours and it was likely they would follow up with prevention advice in the neighbourhood in the coming days.

Most neighbours appeared unaware of the aggravated burglary until they heard about it on the news the following morning.

One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said the incident was particularly frightening for the elderly who lived in the area. "It's quite scary. We've got security doors we can lock, while we leave other doors open so we can see anybody that comes, but these people were masked."

She said many elderly in the area lived alone in pensioner flats and were scared to go out.

Previously a part of a neighbourhood watch group, the woman said the demand for such a group had lessened as more rental properties popped up in the area.

"A lot of the houses here are rented out so the people chop and change so much and you're a bit dubious about inviting strangers into your house for a meeting so it's sort of gone by the wayside.

"I've tried to get a couple of meetings off the ground but people that were renting weren't interested because they were only renting."

Hastings District GreyPower president and retired police officer Ron Wilkins said he was "appalled" to hear of the incident and advocated for more police officers in the region.

"I walked up and down Heretaunga St for years, whatever shift I was on.

"We don't see that today and, if we had that type of coverage, we wouldn't have these assaults in our shops or on our elderly."

He said he had previously approached the Hastings District Council and requested it install security doors in all of its residential properties.

The cost, for what would be a large number of properties, was deemed too expensive, however the council would not stop tenants paying for their own security doors, he said.

Mr McCarthy advised those in the area to keep their wits about them.

"Just to be vigilant and if you're home alone keep your doors locked, standard stuff we'd tell the elderly anyway," Mr McCarthy said.

"[This incident] is certainly not a pattern of behaviour."

Anyone with information about the incident can contact Hawke's Bay Police on (06) 831 0700 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.