A 16-year-old youth has admitted he was one of the two masked armed gunmen who held up the Welcome Bay Foodmarket in August.

The teenager, who cannot be named because he has automatic name suppression due to his age, admitted a charge of aggravated robbery when he appeared in Tauranga Youth Court yesterday.

The charge relates to the boy and an associate entering the Foodmarket on the evening of August 23 armed with pistols (possibly imitation) and demanding money from the store owner before fleeing on foot.

Money and property were taken in the robbery, the court was told.


The teenager was arrested and charged with the armed robbery after Tauranga police, including members of the armed offenders squad, executed two search warrants in Welcome Bay last month.

Judge Louis Bidois directed a family group conference be arranged and called for a FGC report. He remanded the teenager on continued bail.

The judge told the boy that if had been an adult, the question of bail would not even have arisen, and whether the matter would remain in the youth court or be transferred to the district court was yet to be decided.

The teenager was remanded to reappear in Tauranga Youth Court on January 29.

Police are still actively searching for the second gunman.