Owners of a West Auckland liquor store took matters into their own hands today when five youths targeted their store allegedly armed with a bat and pocket knife.
A witness, who wished not to be named, caught the brawl on Henderson Valley Rd on video moments after the young offenders were chased out of the store. She said watching the event unfold was “frightening”.
“We were going to our local liquor store to grab some drinks and then all of a sudden we saw a big group of males punching and huddled up, then we realise it was our local liquor store owners that were fighting off five people with help from the community,” the witness said.
“At first it was frightening as we saw one male with a red bat and another with a weapon that looked like a pocket knife.”
In the video, a member of the community can be seen blocking the getaway car with a ute as the store owners manage to grab one of the offenders.
“The owners did a good job protecting themselves but I know one of them got hurt by a bat but managed to still get up and push them off him,” the witness said.
She said the liquor store had been targeted before by robbers armed with guns, and the vape store next door had also been victimised by similar crimes.
In September last year, the next-door vape store, which also doubles as takeaway, Pizza Bella, was targeted twice in one week by ram-raiders.
“It’s just stressful - this keeps happening and now I’m worried,” the owner Savi Arora said at the time.
“What’s the plan for me? I’m sick of this cleaning up ... what’s next?’.
“I just saw the cameras. There are eight or nine kids - just went into all the glass and all. It’s so dangerous for them as well, [but] no fear at all.
“It’s very scary to the whole community as well.”
The witness to today’s attack wanted more community watch patrols in the area as residents are living in a constant state of fear due to the crimes.
“It’s not safe for kids or anyone walking around,” she said.
“We definitely need more of a community watch in the area as a lot of kids are now getting into this trend of being mischiefs and getting what they want.”
A police spokesperson said police were called to a store on Henderson Valley Rd at 4.41pm after reports of a theft.
Five people were arrested by police, and were being referred to youth services. Enquiries were ongoing to determine whether anything was taken from the store.