"We thought the house was coming down."
Panic ran through the minds of Hamurana Store owners Harjinder Kaur and Avtar Malhi when they were jolted awake at about 2.30am on Sunday by a "big boom".
"[It was] like a big blast," Kaur told the Rotorua Daily Post.
The couple lives in the room behind their business on Hamurana Rd. Their three daughters aged 13, 12, and 8 sleep upstairs.
At first, Kaur and Malhi thought the house was in danger of collapsing.
They did not realise a truck had been rammed through the store's metal door and into the counter, just metres from where they slept.
Kaur said Malhi was going upstairs to make sure their daughters got to safety when they heard voices through the wall.
Kaur could hear someone repeating: "Where's the f***ng smokes?"
"When I heard that I said to my husband, 'Hurry up. There's someone in the shop'."
The couple quickly pressed their panic button.
Once the alarm sounded, Kaur listened as the robbers began to flee.
"They were smashing everything in there like supermen. Then they ran and left the truck in the shop."
The would-be robbers left empty-handed but the impact of the ram raid has been devastating.
"Everything is broken," Kaur said.
"My new fridge is broken. It was only two or three weeks ago when we bought it."
"It is very sad, very shocking. We do the hard work. These people don't understand what they do [to us]."
Kaur and Malhi have owned and operated Hamurana Store for nearly three years. They never had problems with crime before.
"Hamurana is a very safe place," Kaur said.
"My family are in India, my husband's family are in America. So in New Zealand, Hamurana [community] is my family."
As she spoke, neighbours could be seen trying to fix the damage left behind.
Kaur said the support had been pouring in.
"They brought me flowers, food, hugs," Kaur said.
"This is my beautiful Hamurana community."
One Hamurana resident, who would not be named, described Kaur and Malhi's store as a safe and friendly place.
"It's a necessity. Everyone comes here. This is the bus stop area. So the kids all meet here for the bus to school."
Kaur said she and her husband were speaking with their insurance provider about fixing the damage.
Hamurana Store will remain closed for two to three days while the mess from the ram raid is cleaned up and repairs are made.
A police spokesperson said officers were notified of the burglary on Hamurana Rd at 2.33am. They confirmed the vehicle used to gain entry to the premises was left at the scene and nothing was reported as stolen.
Inquiries were ongoing to determine the circumstances of the incident. Police ask that anyone with information contacts 105 and quotes file number 210627/0683.