A man has been charged with theft after jewellery was stolen from an Auckland Michael Hill store in a brazen day-time raid.
A man walked into the store at Westfield St Lukes Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon and spoke to staff before smashing a glass cabinet and taking off with jewellery, police said.
It is alleged he stole two gold chains valued at more than $43,000.
Police carried out a search warrant at a property in Massey last night where a man, 30, was arrested and charged in relation to the jewellery theft and other incidents at a nearby Noel Leeming store and petrol station.
"Police have not yet located the jewellery allegedly stolen on Saturday, however our investigation is continuing into the matter," Inspector Wayne Kitcher said.
"During the search warrant police have also located a firearm, ammunition and a quantity of drugs.
"The discovery of these items will now form part of these ongoing enquiries and as such we cannot rule out further charges being laid."
The man is due to appear in Auckland District Court today.
He could face up to seven years imprisonment if found guilty of stealing the gold chains, valued at $43,198, from Michael Hill Jewellers on December 4.
The man is also accused of stealing two laptops valued at $9305 from a Noel Leeming store at the St Lukes Mega Centre.
Two jewellery stores were targeted at the Westfield St Lukes Shopping Centre over the weekend.
At around 3am on Monday morning, a person smashed a glass window at Stewart Dawsons Jeweller. Luckily the person failed to enter the store and no items were stolen, staff told the Herald.
The two weekend break-ins are the latest in a spate of smash and grab robberies in jewellery stores across Auckland.
The theft on Saturday is the tenth at a Michael Hill Jeweller store in the past 12 months.
Police aim to crack down on "high-profile repeat offending" at retail stores - which is costing stores around a billion dollars a year and becoming increasingly violent - with a new specialised investigation unit launching next year.
The unit is expected to be up and running in the first quarter of next year.
It will primarily be made up of police with specialist staff seconded from within the retail sector and other crime prevention organisations, police said.
"No retail worker or customer should experience fear or trauma when going about their day-to-day activities and the establishment of this unit signals our continued commitment to ensuring everyone can be safe and feel safe," Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said last month.