Multiple tip-offs led police, including dog handlers, to the whereabouts of two suspects after yet another armed robbery in Whanganui.
A lone staffer at the Black Bull Liquor store in Whanganui East was robbed at 9pm on Thursday night, at least the twelfth robbery since last December, and just days after the BP Whanganui East service station was also robbed.
Police dog handlers were called after Thursday night's robbery when tip-offs from various members of the public led inquiries to a Whanganui East address where two suspects, aged 17 and 19, were arrested and charged.
A third offender is believed to have been involved and is being actively sought by police, Senior Sergeant Shayne Wainhouse said.
The male staff member was left emotionally shaken after he was confronted by three offenders, at least one of whom was armed with a hammer, Mr Wainhouse said.
"At this stage we have not ruled out a connection with the robbery at BP Whanganui East," Mr Wainhouse said.
He praised the assistance received from members of the public who contacted police shortly after Thursday night's robbery and which led to the arrest of the two suspects.
"We had several reports of suspicious activity and as a result of that information we were able to recovery some of property stolen from the liquor store and apprehend two suspects."
He urged anyone who witnessed any unusual actvity around the time of the robbery to come forward. The Black Bull Liquor Store is located in Duncan Street next to Savages Bakery.
Information could be reported anonymously through Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) or to Whanganui police Detective Senior Sergeant Phil Taylor.
Two males appeared in the Whanganui District Court on Friday.
Tamehana Thompson, 17 was charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and Tangata Thomas-Paenui, 19 was charged with one count of aggravated robbery.
Both accused entered no plea and will appear in court again next week.
A request for name suppression was denied by Judge Allan Roberts.
Whanganui has suffered at least 12 aggravated robberies in an 11-month period Dec-Nov:
Thursday, November 09, 2017 - 9pm.
Three offenders, one armed with a hammer, rob sole staff member at Black Bull Liquor store and get away with cigarettes, alcohol and a small quanitity of cash. Two suspects arrested.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 -- 8.55pm
Three men (faces covered) - aggravated burglary BP service station, Whanganui East - stole cash and cigarettes. Fourth offender drove dark coloured three-door Mazda hatchback.
Sunday, Oct 29, 2017
Four arrested (including three youths) and charged with aggravated robery of Caltex Service Station, Victoria Ave, on Sunday. A substantial amount of property recovered.
Friday, Sept 22, 2017
Two men , one armed with knife, rob Z service station, Dublin St -- took tobacco and cash.
Saturday, Sept 9, 2017
Four thieves, 18-20, 3 inside; one outside. Demand ciggies and cash; steal food from Rangitikei St dairy. Hammer attack on heads of Mr Zhou and one woman.
Saturday, Sept 9, 2017
Two youths enter Polson St dairy, Castlecliff, demand ciggies and cash; smash counter with hockey sticks. Two suspects refered to Youth Aid.
Sunday, May 21, 2017:
Armed robbers held up the Springvale dairy in Fitzherbert Avenue leaving the owner injured and in shock. It is alleged two offenders, one armed with a firearm and the other with another weapon, stole cash and cigarettes. Two suspects arrested.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017:
Castlecliff Hotel held up at gunpoint. Two suspects arrested.
April 27, 2017:
Four offenders entered the McDonald's restaurant on Liffiton St and demanded money before fleeing across State Highway 3. one suspect arrested.
April 18, 2017
Four offenders use a small red Mazda car to smash through the roller door od the Castlecliff Camp Store, Rangiora Street. Money taken.
December 13, 2016:
Four armed offenders entered the BP Connect service station on London Street and made off with cigarettes. Two suspects arrested.
December 11, 2016:
Three offenders took alcohol and cash as well as cigarettes from the liquor store in Purnell St.
Police say investigations in all the above robberies are ongoing.