A gun has been recovered from a getaway car and nine people arrested after raids on stores across Auckland last night.
A liquor store and a Nike footwear shop in the central Auckland suburb of Newmarket were targeted by ram raiders just after 1am.
An hour later on the North Shore there was an alleged burglary at a service station on East Coast Rd.
Both raids ended with cars travelling at high speed on Auckland motorways before being spiked and occupants arrested.
Police said a vehicle was used to smash open the roller door of Epsom Liquor Centre on Manukau Rd.
Detective Senior Sergeant Scott Armstrong said around 1.05am police were called to a commercial address in Epsom following reports of a burglary.
“Those involved have attempted to break into the address using a vehicle to gain entry, however, they have been unsuccessful.
“The vehicle involved was abandoned at the scene and those involved have fled in a second vehicle, which is believed to have been stolen.”
Footage shown to the Herald by the store’s owner showed two vehicles arriving outside - one being use to ram the door, before several masked youths pried the door open and made off with goods.
The liquor store’s owner told the Herald the group caused a hell of a mess inside his shop.
A short time later, Police, including the Eagle helicopter, responded to reports of the same vehicle being used to gain entry into a retail store on Broadway, Newmarket, around 1.15am.
Photos show the large plate glass window smashed, with shattered glass strewn across the street. Police were standing guard outside.
A police spokesperson said earlier: “The vehicle involved was abandoned at the scene and those involved have fled in a second vehicle, which is believed to have been stolen.”
Detective Senior Sergeant Armstrong said police were quickly on the scene following reports of the burglary.
“Eagle observed an SUV leaving the area before being abandoned nearby.
“Those involved then entered a second vehicle and Police have monitored this vehicle as it travelled south on the Southern Motorway before exiting at Hill Rd, where it was spiked.”
Armstrong said the vehicle continued to travel in a dangerous manner, before entering an area of roadworks on Weymouth Rd, Manurewa where it was able to be stopped and the five occupants taken into custody.
“We have since searched the vehicles involved and recovered a range of stolen branded property, as well as a firearm.”
Four people aged between 19-24 were due to appear in the Auckland District Court today. Armstrong said they had been charged with several counts of burglary and unlawful takes.
Three of those arrested have also been charged in relation to an aggravated robbery at a commercial address in Royal Oak last Thursday.
A 16-year-old was also arrested overnight in relation to the Epsom and Newmarket incidents.
“Given the range of property recovered, our inquiries will continue, and we can’t rule out further charges for other incidents,” said Armstrong.
Meanwhile, on Auckland’s North Shore, Waitematā Police took four people into custody after a separate alleged burglary at a service station on East Coast Rd.
Police said at 2.40am the alarm was raised after two people were reported breaking into an address in Milford.
“Those involved have taken a number of items before leaving the scene in a vehicle,” said Detective Senior Sergeant Nick Poland.
“It is not believed the vehicle was used to gain entry into the premises.”
He said police monitored the vehicle travelling at speed along East Coast Rd before entering the Northern Motorway where it headed south.
“The vehicle has exited, then re-entered the motorway, heading north,” Poland said.
Eagle continued to monitor the vehicle before it was spiked in Silverdale, eventually coming to a stop at Wainui.
Four people, aged between 14-16, then fled from the vehicle, however, all were apprehended a short distance away and taken into custody.
“This morning’s arrests are another example of police continuing to hold offenders to account for offending taking place in our communities,” said Armstrong.
“This brazen and often violent offending being inflicted on our community is unacceptable and those who choose to engage can expect to be held to account.”