An Auckland fruit and vegetable shop has been raided by primary school-aged children who kick and hammer their way into a store before they scarper with nothing.
Footage taken from in-store security cameras shows the shocking moment a young child gets out of a car and, after taking instruction from the adult driver, tries to prise the automatic doors apart with a hammer before attacking a glass pane with a series of kicks.
He’s joined by a second younger child who executes karate-style kicks.
When the door’s shatterproof glass proves his measure the child starts raining blows down on the pane with a hammer.
But it takes the strength of the male adult driver in a hi-vis vest, who busts through the door with several powerful kicks.
The trio then squeeze through the punctured hole, with the children making a beeline for a refrigerated cabinet and the adult heading to the cash register.
But after 15 chaotic seconds inside the store with a piercing alarm blaring out, they leave empty-handed.
A Fruit World manager said this wasn’t the first time this specific location had been targeted.
“Sadly enough, that’s probably the third time this year that store has been broken into and it’s a, it’s kind of crazy,” he said.
“I mean it’s a produce shop, it’s not like the golden kumara are actually made out of gold.”
When discussing the seemingly young age of the kids involved, he said it was “very sad to see”.
The manager, who wished to remain anonymous, said nothing seemed to be taken. Instead the offenders “simply kick in the windows and never touch anything else”.
He was bewildered the seemingly young children attacking the store didn’t even touch the chocolate bars that sat next to the tills they initially tried to look at first.
The raiders have caused an estimated $6000 in damage, the manager said.
A police spokesperson said officers were continuing to investigate a burglary at an Auckland store in the early hours of March 11.
“A group of offenders smashed a glass door to enter the premises but did not manage to take anything from the store.
“The group left the area in two vehicles following the incident.
“Police are continuing to follow positive lines of enquiry in this matter.”
Businesses across Auckland continue to bear the brunt of thieves hitting their stores causing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Police are still hunting for thieves who targeted businesses in Westgate and Avondale over the weekend.
Macpac clothing store in Westgate had its windows smashed by a group of offenders on Sunday It was the second time the store had been targeted.
Police said they responded to the burglary of commercial premises on Maki St, Westgate about 4.10am.
The group then fled the scene in two separate vehicles.
Earlier on Landsford Cres in Avondale, a vehicle was used to gain entry into a commercial premises around 12.30am.
The offenders fled the scene in another vehicle before police arrived, and inquiries are also ongoing to try and locate them.
Earlier this month, a police report containing “high-level intelligence” on ram raids revealed 79 youth offenders were thought to be “of concern”.
The Targeted Overview of Youth Offending in New Zealand report was sent to then Police Minister Chris Hipkins in September last year.
The briefing, released to the Herald under the Official Information Act, indicated an “inter-connectedness” between ram raids and a wider pattern of dishonesty offending.
Police found there were 5955 proceedings against 3541 youths aged between 14-17 between February 1 2022 and July 31, 2022. The highest number of proceedings per person was 17.
Almost half had only offended in the three categories associated with ram-raid type offences. Of this group 79 had five or more proceedings including violence offences, 41 of which involved a ram raid. As of September 15, 14 were in custody, 46 were on bail. The status of the remaining 19 was unknown.
“These 79 youth and their immediate support networks are considered to be of concern as it appears these individuals are being raised in an environment of habitual and normalised offending,” the report says.
“The full extent of interaction between the 79 individuals, their families and government agencies is unknown.”
Police used the National Intelligence Application (NIA) to establish possible links between the youths of concern. All but 12 of the youths were linked in police records.
“Almost all of the 79 youth have a mutual connection with one another via a person, vehicle, location or similar.”
Auckland City, Counties Manukau and Bay of Plenty police districts were the most common locations for the links.