1493632231702 - Dairy robbed and shopkeeper assaulted, again

Dairy robbed and shopkeeper assaulted, again

Armed and masked robbers have held up a dairy where the owner says she already has nightmares from a previous robbery. 

A group with their faces covered entered the Rangiora Minimarket in Roslyn, Palmerston North, about 6.10pm on Monday, Detective Sergeant Dave Wishnowsky said. 

One was armed with what appeared to be a baseball bat, and another was carrying a “toy gun”. A staff member was assaulted, but not with the bat, he said. 

“The group … left the store with an unknown amount of cash and cigarettes.” 

READ MORE: 
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* Teens arrested following armed robbery of Palmerston North Liquorland
* Police say replica pistol used to rob Kelvin Grove Mini Market

The injured storekeeper was taken to hospital to be assessed, but was not thought to be badly injured, Wishnowsky said.

Police are  trying to find out how many people were in the group. They did not answer questions about how many staff and customers were present, but it is understood customers were also in the store at the time. 

In December, the same store was robbed by three people armed with a large machete and a hammer, before they were disturbed by members of the public. 

Owner operator Tinu Patel said afterward the memory of one of the assailants grabbing her neck and holding a hammer to her head during the incident  haunted her. 

She had struggled to sleep, and often woke in fright recalling the sensation of his hands closing around her neck and her face being forced against the counter top. 

In 2011, her husband had his face slashed with a knife by one of two men during a robbery, in an assault an officer said could have been fatal if the wound were to his neck. 

Jackson Daniel Skipper, then 21, was jailed later later that year  for four years, for the assault and robbery. 

There have also been two recent holdups in Palmerston North.

On March 23, a shot was reportedly fired when a group of six youths robbed the College St Liquourland. 

And a Kelvin Grove Mini Market shopkeeper was robbed of tobacco products at gunpoint with a replica pistol on April 19. A 25-year-old man has been charged with aggravated robbery. 

Wishnowsky said it was likely the people involved in the latest incident at the Rangiora Minimarket would be trying to sell cigarettes for a discounted rate. He asked anyone offered discounted cigarettes to contact Palmerston North police on 06 351 3600, or pass on information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

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