Police are hunting for multiple people involved in a number of aggravated robberies around Auckland in the past 48 hours.
In the latest overnight incident, police say “multiple offenders” turned up to a bar on Great North Rd, in Pt Chevalier, armed with hammers and a firearm.
“One person has fired a shot inside the premises which has struck a TV on a wall behind the bar,” Detective Senior Sergeant Ash Matthews said.
“The offenders have taken money from the tills and gaming machines before fleeing. It’s incredibly lucky no [one] was physically injured during this incident.”
The incident happened just before 1am at the Harlequin Bar & Restaurant.
A photographer at the scene saw detectives inside the premises while armed police stood guard outside, while a smashed cash register tray lay on the ground.
At 2.21am, Police were then called to the GC VapeShop 247, on New North Rd in Mt Albert, less than 1km from Harlequin Bar.
Once again, armed police officers stood guard outside the building in the early hours of this morning.
Police said a large a group of people were also involved.
“Up to seven offenders armed with hammers have entered the building on New North Rd which at the time had a staff member and four customers inside.
Same group involved in Wednesday aggravated robbery
“Two offenders have threatened the victims inside the store while the other offenders have taken a number of items before fleeing.”
Police said no one was injured but all were left shaken afterwards.
Matthews said the group left in a stolen vehicle which police found a short distance away in a neighbouring suburb on Holbrook St, Blockhouse Bay.
The vehicle will now undergo a forensic examination.
Authorities have not yet said whether they believe the two incidents involve the same people.
However, police now say they believe the same group of offenders involved in the overnight bar incident are also responsible for an aggravated robbery at another commercial property in Mt Albert on Wednesday night.
In that incident, which happened just before midnight, four masked offenders with weapons including a firearm smashed their way into the nearby Mt Albert Sports Bar and stole the contents of the cash register.
Police said a staff member was inside at the time. They were uninjured but were shaken and is being supported by Police.
“We believe these two incidents are linked and are following positive lines of inquiry,” Matthews said.
Authorities are appealing to the public for any information that may help find those responsible in any of the incidents.
“This type of violent behaviour is unacceptable,” said Matthews.
“We are now working hard to identify and locate those involved so we can hold them accountable.
Anyone who saw anything that may be connected to the incidents or may have useful video or dashcam footage is urged to contact Police immediately.
“While we want to remind people never to put themselves in harm’s way, we always encourage witnesses to come forward.”
Can you help? Contact Police on 105 or CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111