A 24-hour Christchurch dairy hit by a string of robberies will change its layout and rip posters off the windows in bid to make it safe.
Woolston Night ‘n Day boss Tony Allison says they would be better off closing than to start a night pay window.
Thieves and robbers have plagued the store since August. It was targeted for the tenth time since then on Tuesday.
A masked man charged in, sparking an attendant to lock herself in a safe room. As she hid, the man rummaged in the store. He left when he could not access the till or cigarettes.
READ MORE: * Woolston Night n’ Day attendant locks herself in ‘safe room’ during theft* Christchurch dairy robbed twice in three days, eighth time in seven months * Woolston Night ‘n Day 24-hour dairy robbed again * Seven robberies in seven months “extremely concerning” * Christchurch 24-hour dairy robbed for the sixth time in four months * Christchurch Night ‘n Day robbed for fifth time * ‘Someone’s likely to get seriously injured somewhere along the way’
Allison said on Wednesday the store would take signage off store windows so passers-by could see inside.
He was considering moving the checkout so staff had a better view of who came in.
“[The offenders] will feel a bit more open and exposed. Once they get in the door they can’t hide because everyone can see.”
He said the store would not operate a night pay window.
“From a shop sales perspective we’re almost better off closing the store than having a night pay window because people want to come in and see what you’ve got for sale.”
The store took several steps to increase security over the last few months, including installing a cigarette dispenser and setting up the safe room. When employees were frightened, they could lock themselves in the room and call for help.
WorkSafe assessed the store. A spokesman said it was “satisfied” the dairy took “reasonably practicable steps” to manage risks to staff.
“The franchisee explained the range of significant improvements that have been made, including having a CCTV and personal alarm system that are now linked to the police system in real time.”
The company had liaised with similar businesses to draw on their experiences.
Police were treating Tuesday’s incident as a burglary. The other nine were robberies. Police have made arrests for eight of them.
Last month, police charged an 18-year-old after the eight robbery since August.
In December, two teenagers armed with an iron bar and wearing masks entered the Night ‘n Day and punched the store attendant in the face, stealing cash and cigarettes.
Earlier that month three masked offenders, two armed with hammers, ripped off a cigarette cabinet door and took tobacco products and cash.