15 Apr 2024

Business owners and locals on edge after 'horrific' ram raid at Auckland mall

7:12 pm on 15 April 2024

An Auckland business owner is on edge after a violent ram raid just 100 metres from his shop.

Hasit Mansuri, who co-owned Your Local Liquor in Newmarket, said he was pulling out all the stops to protect himself, his staff, and his stock from harm.

"This is a magnetic lock. It won't open until the force is more than 250kg," Mansuri said showing the jail-like cage he served his customers through in the evening.

"We can only open from the inside."

Nothing had happened to him yet, but he knew it could.

"Every night, there's a thought somewhere in the brain, you know, that it's going to be tomorrow."

Asked if he had a baseball bat to defend himself, Mansuri said yes, "just in case".

"We really don't want to use it."

Mansuri's store was just down the road from Partridge Jewellers - the scene of a violent ram raid on Friday night.

Hasit Mansuri, co-owner of liquor shop in Newmarket.

Your Local Liquor co-owner Hasit Mansuri. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

Just before 9pm, several staff were beginning to close up for the night when a stolen Toyota Aqua reversed into the glass storefront.

Six masked thieves allegedly entered and broke the display cabinets using hammers and tyre irons before fleeing with what police said was a "large quantity of high-end pieces of jewellery".

Waitematā Local Board deputy chairperson Greg Moyle said it was horrific.

Deputy chairpersonof Waitemata Local Board Greg Moyle.

Waitematā Local Board deputy chairperson Greg Moyle. Photo: RNZ / Marika Khabazi

"Because they had a car waiting that shows the level of organisation. It's not just one of those random, you know, ram raids where they're after liquor or cigarettes or whatever," he said.

Moyle said crime was a problem across the Waitematā Local Board area, which covered other shopping areas such as K Road, Queen Street and Commercial Bay.

"Partridge, I just, I sympathise with them. I mean, what can they do? They've got their own security. But what do you do when you've got six people smashing their way into your shop? You don't know if they're armed. The staff can do very little," Moyle said.

Partridge Jewellers remained closed over the weekend but opened on Monday with increased security around Newmarket's Westfield Mall.

CCTV of ram raid at Newmarket jewellery store

CCTV of the people involved in the alleged burglary. Photo: Supplied / NZ police

Staff declined to speak to RNZ but a manager said the team were doing okay.

Jacob Isherwood, an employee at nearby Vapo, said the security guards looked out for them.

"They definitely keep it a little safer, but there are like characters that come in all the time that you kind of look at. You're like, 'Oh, I don't know what this person's up to', you know?"

One woman who worked in the building above the mall said it was not the only news keeping her on edge.

On Saturday afternoon, six people were killed at a Westfield in Sydney during a stabbing attack.

"So shocking really. And making you realise just how vigilant you've got to be and alert you've got to be in a shopping mall," she said.

At Partridge Jewellers, a stocktake was being done to work out exactly what was stolen in Friday's ram raid while police continued to work to track down the culprits.