Shocking footage of a brutal assault on a dairy owner in Papatoetoe has been released by police.

The footage has been released in a bid to find the man police believe is responsible for a series of violent robberies.

The footage of the "sickening assault" shows a man with distinctive tattoos entering a dairy in Papatoetoe on Thursday, July 7, armed with a knife.

Counties Manukau Police Detective Inspector Fa'amanuia Va'aelua said the man's knife broke during the attack. The shopkeeper was not seriously injured and managed to escape.


Police now believe the same offender committed another aggravated robbery on Wednesday night, armed with a pistol, at a dairy in Otahuhu.

During that attack, a female worker was robbed, at gunpoint, by a sole offender.

The frightened shop worker managed to lock herself away in a room behind the dairy and the man fled with two cellphones he stole from the counter.

"The decision to release this video publicly has not been made lightly. We are doing this because during this assault the offender's hoody has slipped and we can see his very distinctive tattoos, his face and his body shape," Va'aelua said.

Little more than an hour later, the same man is believed to have taken a pistol and committed another aggravated robbery at a petrol station in Onehunga.

No one was injured in that incident.

Despite publication of still images of the man on the Counties Manukau Police Facebook page and Police Ten 7, he is yet to be identified and located.

"We have a team of detectives working on this and this is a priority investigation," Va'aelua said.

"We've put a lot of work into trying to find this man and have made a vast number of inquiries, including looking at similar offending, forensic evidence and criminal profiling.

"We believe this man may also be responsible for up to another seven robberies of dairies and petrol stations across Auckland that have occurred since June," Va'aelua said.

Last Saturday two Manurewa dairies were robbed, and on Tuesday in Pt Chevalier, a dairy was robbed at gunpoint by a man fitting the description.

Police have carried out forensic scene examinations at all locations.

"The fact that this man has used extreme violence against the man in the video is obviously a concern, and his offending is not stopping.

"I want to reassure people that we are doing everything possible to catch this offender, but we need public help. Someone will know who this is, especially his distinctive tattoos."

The offender is described having;
-A full sleeve tattoo covering his left forearm
-A 2-3 inch band tattoo on his upper right forearm, near the elbow
-Maori or Pacific Islander, aged between 25 to 35 years old
-Scruffy/bushy black hair
-Possibly a moustache and goatie beard
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Counties Manukau Police Major Crime team on 09 213 9444.
Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

There have been up to seven aggravated robberies across Auckland since June, including:
Thursday, July 7: Dairy owner in Papatoetoe robbed by offender armed with knife
Saturday, July 23: Two Manurewa dairies robbed by man fitting the same description
Tuesday, July 26: Dairy worker in Pt Chevalier robbed at gunpoint
Wednesday, July 27 at 6.30pm: Dairy robbed in Great South Rd, Otahuhu
Wednesday, July 27 at 7.30pm: Aggravated robbery of a petrol station in Onehunga