Dairy targeted twice

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    Newfield Dairy part-owner Christine Radka says her biggest concern is her staff after her shop became a target for burglars twice last week. Photo: Abbey Palmer

    INVERCARGILL police say the investigation into a robbery and an alleged attempted robbery on the same dairy last week is ongoing.

    Newfield Dairy part-owner Christine Radka confirmed there were two incidents – a robbery about 4am on Monday, September 30, and an attempt about 12.30am on Wednesday, October 2.

    Rob Johansen, a neighbour, saw four men attempt to break in to the dairy, through his window on Wednesday morning.

    “One guy had what looked like a machete in one hand and a bat in the other, one of those white masks on and a hoodie on over the top.”

    He yelled out to the offenders “I’ve got your photo”, when they saw him and ran down a nearby alleyway, he said.

    “They were there with one intention and one intention only,” he said.

    When police arrived, two vehicles drove past the scene “six or seven times at about 80 to 90kmh”, Mr Johansen said.

    “They still had their masks on.”

    Southern District Police, via social media, asked for the public to come forward with any information relating to a robbery, which occurred “around 4am on Monday, September 30”.

    Mrs Radka said she would “bet her life” the two incidents on Monday and Wednesday were linked.

    “I’m thinking the first lot has come in, couldn’t achieve what they wanted, and the next night they’ve come back with machetes thinking they can pry those doors open [on the cigarette cabinet].”

    She said a grey car was seen at the dairy on both nights.

    “One of the guys had a very distinctive tattoo on his hand, someone must know who he is.”

    Mrs Radka said despite the fact the damage would cost them, the most important thing was her staff’s safety.

    Since the incidents, they had “ramped-up” security, installed mesh brackets on the doors, and no longer kept money on site overnight, she said.

    A staff member, who did not want to be named, said despite a recent spate of robberies, he was surprised to be “hit” twice in one week.

    The staff were feeling “uneasy”, he said.

    “It makes people in general have sleepless nights and that, it’s been playing on my mind a bit. I even thought about driving around all night looking for them.”

    These types of crimes were making it an “unsafe place for small businesses”, he said.

    “The hard work that’s been put into running this shop, it feels a bit like a kick in the teeth. Small businesses like this, every penny is accounted for.”

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