If he hadn't decided to close his store five minutes earlier than usual last Friday night "for no good reason", the owner of a liquor store in Huntly, Waikato, isn't sure he'd even be alive today.

"Call it sixth sense maybe, but I just felt like I had to close five minutes early that day," the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Herald.

On Friday night, as he pulled the roller down and locked the shop, a gang of seven youths ran towards him and the man, two staff members, and his cousin who was visiting.

The four men were all getting ready to start their weekend when they were chased by the violent youths, who were attempting to rob the store.


"They timed it to perfection but failed because I decided to close the store five minutes earlier."

"I got the worst scare of my life," the man added.

"No one got hurt luckily but they stole my cousin's car and damaged my ute by kicking it in badly."

The man grabbed one of his staff members by the hand and ran inside his ute, chased by some of the gang who kept kicking the vehicle.

Meanwhile, his cousin and another staff member ran off and were chased around the carpark and down State Highway 1 for a couple of hundred metres before the wannabe robbers gave up the chase.

The gang attacking the staff outside the store in Huntly. Photo / Supplied
The gang attacking the staff outside the store in Huntly. Photo / Supplied

"My cousin already had his keys in the ignition of his car as he was ready to leave so they eventually gave up and took off in the car," the man said.

The vehicle later ended up being involved in an unrelated police chase and has been recovered, albeit with significant damages.

This isn't the first time the store was the target of violence and attempted robbery.

The store owner says he has had to grow a thick skin. The man wishes he could have closed it for the weekend to recover from the shock, but that store is his livelihood and how he supports his family, including his two children.

"On how scared I was from 1 to 10, this was about a 33," he says.

"F**k yeah, I'm scared. My staff is all shaken up too. But what can we do?

"You grow a bit of a thick skin but this time was a bit different. My wife and children were flying back from visiting family overseas so I had to keep this quiet and couldn't put it on social media as I didn't want them to see it before I had the chance to explain what had happened.

"I've been physically hurt in other incidents before but this has hit me really hard."

The store owner says synthetics are "100 percent" to blame for the incident and adds that he believes the gang is local and is responsible for other known incidents in the area recently. "We've got one [incident] every couple of days around here."

Police are investigating the incident.