Two liquor store workers have turned the tables on their attempted robbers, grabbing a bar stool and hockey stick then chasing the would-be crooks from the shop and smashing their getaway car.

Dramatic CCTV footage of the incident shows one worker hurling a stool at the fleeing men and his colleague sprinting after them armed with a hockey club.

Outside the shop they pummelled the robbers' windscreen as they pair tried desperately to make their escape.

The attempted robbery happened about midday on Saturday at Mitchell Downs Liquor Store on Goldie St in Rotorua.


Two men entered the premises, one armed with a hammer, and demanded money from the staff.

Rather than hand over anything, the two men working in the bottle store "turned the tables" on the would-be robbers, Detective Sergeant John Wilson of the Rotorua CIB said.

One of the staff members armed themselves with a stool from behind the counter, the other with a hockey stick.

The two robbers ran off empty handed and jumped into a silver Mazda Demio car, registration number GGB700.

Mr Wilson said the car, which had earlier been stolen from Auckland, was found dumped near the Linton Park Community Centre a short time later.

Jaswinder Aujla (left) helped owner Jagdev Bhullar chased away two men attempting to rob Mitchell Downs Liquor Store on Saturday. PHOTO/BEN FRASER
Jaswinder Aujla (left) helped owner Jagdev Bhullar chased away two men attempting to rob Mitchell Downs Liquor Store on Saturday. PHOTO/BEN FRASER

Duty manager Jaswinder Aujla said he was working on something on the store computer with owner Jagdev Bhullar when the incident unfolded.

7 Jun, 2016 10:03am
3 minutes to read

He said the first guy walked in with his hood up and the second guy followed "running at us with a hammer".

"It's our policy that no one is allowed in with a hoodie on. We have regulars and almost know every customer who comes in, so when someone strange comes along we get suspicious.

"I think it was a lucky escape for us, in just a matter of seconds anything could have happened," Mr Aujla said.

Mr Bhullar said it was an "automatic reaction". He saw the second guy was holding something he thought it was a gun and knew he had to react.

"I grabbed the hockey stick and realised he was actually holding a hammer, Jas grabbed the bar stool and threw it then I chased them out with the hockey stick and smashed it down on their windscreen before they drove away."

He said Jas followed him with a golf club and another worker from out the back of the store came out for support.

"It all went down in about 15 to 20 seconds. It's just an automatic reaction. We have been here two years and never had this happen before, we don't have burglaries or shop lifting or anything."

Mr Bhullar said they already had good security systems but were now thinking of putting cameras outside the shop as well.

He was proud of the way they handled the situation and because they had clear windows they could see the man coming before he entered the shop.

"We were told to put stickers and advertising on our windows but I refused because of security purposes."

Mr Bhullar encouraged other stores to do the same.

"We did not give them time to think."

The two offenders are both described as Maori, aged in their late 20s or early 30s. Both were wearing hoodies.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Constable Stef Graham at the Rotorua Police Station on (07) 348 0099. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.