8 Jul 2019

Taupō jewellery robbers tried to run over staff member - police

10:24 pm on 8 July 2019

A staff member who was nearly run down by a car while restraining an apparent robber at a Taupō jewellery store has escaped with minor injuries.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Officers were called to the jewellery store on Tamamutu Street about 12.50pm today after reports of a man smashing a display cabinet and stealing watches.

Detective Sergeant Andy Livingstone said a staff member gave chase and tackled the man in a service lane at the back of the store.

"Another person, thought to be acting as a getaway driver, was waiting in the same service lane in a stolen blue Mazda Familia," he said.

"The driver has attempted to free his co-offender by running over the staff member, who was restraining him with the assistance of members of the public."

Mr Livingstone said the driver then threatened the worker with a pistol before fleeing in the car.

The Mazda was found empty but still running on Motutere Street.

"It is incredibly fortunate that no one was seriously injured as a result of this incident but the actions of this driver and his disregard for the safety of others is of serious concern," he said.

Police said a 25-year-old from Hamilton had been arrested and would face a charge of aggravated robbery at Rotorua District Court tomorrow.

They said anyone who may have seen the blue Mazda in the area should contact the police.

The staff member from the store had only minor injuries.