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Auckland no longer safe, Huffer chief says after Ponsonby store raid

An Auckland shop owner calls the city a dangerous place after a series of raids and break-ins on Monday night.

Huffer general manager Kate Berry said the Ponsonby store lost between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of product, along with other damage to the product and the store, when violators broke in around 2 a.m. morning Tuesday morning.

The same store had been targeted five weeks earlier when the back entrance was raided.

A Huffer store in Ponsonby was one of several stores targeted on Monday night, leaving it closed on Tuesday morning.

Lucy Xia / Stuff

A Huffer store in Ponsonby was one of several stores targeted on Monday night, leaving it closed on Tuesday morning.

“Of course, the faceplate also needs to be replaced,” Berry said.

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“It’s not, but a Huffer problem, it’s a societal problem. It is unacceptable behavior that stems from anti-social behavior in our society and turns into a crime.

“I don’t think the city is a particularly safe place at the moment, and Covid certainly [exacerbated] that.”

CCTV showed people stealing jackets from shelves. A staff member said some cost up to $500.

The vehicle in which the attackers were seen left the area and was later located by police near Newton.

A handful of people were arrested after the spate of burglaries, which also included two ram-raid robberies – one at a Harvey Norman electronics store at the Northwest Mall, and an attempted burglary later at a liquor store in Titirangi, West Auckland.

People in two vehicles fled the scene after alcohol was allegedly stolen.

Three people have been arrested and investigations are ongoing after several burglaries in the Auckland area on Monday night.  (File photo.)

Alden Williams / Stuff

Three people have been arrested and investigations are ongoing after several burglaries in the Auckland area on Monday night. (File photo.)

A vehicle was followed by police to Glen Eden, where bottles of liquor were recovered after a property search.

Two people were arrested for facts unrelated at the time.

Investigations continued throughout the morning, resulting in the indictment of two other people.

The pair, aged 18 and 19, were due to appear in Waitākere District Court later on Tuesday.

In Auckland City, police received a report of a burglary which took place at a residential property on Olsen Avenue, Hillsborough at around 11.46pm.

A Harvey Norman electronics store in the Northwest Mall was raided Monday night.  (File photo)

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A Harvey Norman electronics store in the Northwest Mall was raided Monday night. (File photo)

The police intervened and spotted a vehicle leaving the area.

The vehicle was signaled to stop by police, but did not, police said.

He was not pursued, however, the vehicle crashed at Mt Roskill and a police dog and handler were deployed. Investigations to locate the assailant were underway.

A 28-year-old man was later located and arrested by police at a property in Mt Albert. He was arrested on pending burglary cases and investigations are continuing.

Meanwhile, in South Auckland, a group of criminals smashed a window to enter a phone retailer in Takanini.

Two offenders, aged 18 and 19, are due to appear in Waitākere District Court later today.  (File photo)

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Two offenders, aged 18 and 19, are due to appear in Waitākere District Court later today. (File photo)

However, the store had a fog cannon installed, and offenders left empty-handed. Police investigations into the incident were continuing, police said.

Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said police continue to maintain high visibility by patrolling communities and responding to any incidents as they arise.

“I would like to thank our staff who continue to work hard in the Tāmaki Makaurau districts,” he said.

“These results reflect our staff’s commitment to multiple night shifts, including our front line staff, dog handlers and investigation staff.”