Four youths have been arrested after an east Auckland bakery was smashed up in a ram raid overnight before two nearby vape stores were targeted by burglars.
Detective Inspector Shaun Vickers, Counties Manukau CIB, said the youths allegedly first targeted a vape store on Springs Rd, East Tamaki, where they attempted to break down the front door.
The offenders broke into the store by smashing through the front window. A police scene guard was put in place, and staff are expected to return to the scene this morning.
In July, Dark Vapes owner Rakib Howlader told the Herald his store had been targeted by burglars more than 20 times, including by two hammer-wielding child robbers.
Police were then called to Pakuranga Bakery on Ti Rakau Dr at 11.41pm after the shop was ram-raided.
Significant damage was caused at the bakery, with glass smashed and a security grille inside the window failing to stop the offenders.
“Police understand the same group has been responsible for both incidents,” Vickers said.
A police scene guard remains outside the store this morning.
“Those involved have entered the premises and taken some items, before leaving the scene in a second vehicle, leaving the other behind at the address,” Vicker said.
The getaway car was seen travelling through Glen Innes “in a dangerous manner” just after midnight. Police were able to spike the car as it crossed the Orams Rd overbridge.
“The vehicle has eventually crashed into a fence on Weymouth Rd, where four youths were subsequently taken into custody a short distance away,” Vickers said.
“This was a reckless incident, which could have resulted in serious harm or loss of life to those involved.
”Our message to those who choose to continue to engage in this offending is: You will be held to account.”
The four youths have been referred to Youth Aid.
Also last night, police attended Vape Pakuranga on Pakuranga Rd at 2.04am after the store was targeted and an alarm set off.
A window had been shattered, causing the fog cannon to activate.
“Despite some damage, no entry into the premises was gained. An investigation is now under way to locate those responsible and police are following positive lines of enquiry.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 105 and reference job number P056939699, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The ram-raided bakery has also been targeted in 2022, according to a Facebook post by local National MP Simeon Brown.
The Pakuranga MP, who is now a minister in the new government, posted a photo of the boarded-up shopfront, saying ram raids were having an “appalling” impact on small business and calling for a crackdown on youth crime.