Video: Jewellery thief robs LynnMall store


An Auckland jewellery store owner has taken the hunt for a person who held up his store at gunpoint to another level.

A police appeal has so far failed to find the thief, so the shopkeeper put out his own press release.

He released CCTV footage of the robbery, which took place at Lotus Gold jewellery shop at 10:30am on Tuesday.

Video footage shows the thief drawing his weapon and threatening the shop assistant, Leilani Tomianiko, before asking her to lie down behind the counter for the entirety of the robbery.

The CCTV recording then shows the man breaking into the display cabinet and taking an assortment of gold jewellery to a value of around $250,000, before fleeing from the store.

No one was injured during the robbery.

"I've never been in that kind of situation and I felt so vulnerable," Ms Tomianiko says. "It was just really scary lying there. I was concerned that he would hurt me."

Store Manager Murray Broadmore says the robber must have cased out the store previously. The thief knew what he was looking for, he says.

Some of the pieces taken were individually worth $10,000.

Police believe the same man could be behind a robbery at the nearby Warehouse in New Lynn on Sunday evening.

They had posted on Facebook hoping to identify the man.

But after a couple of days with no-one yet caught, the owner of Lotus Jewellery decided to release his own appeal to the media.

"If every time this kind of thing happened, if every shopkeeper did the same thing, I think maybe it would send a different signal to these people that think they can get away with robberies in broad daylight, or any time of the day or night."

But police are urging shopkeepers to consult with them before releasing any information in case it has a negative impact on the investigation.

A spokesperson for Waitemata Police says sometimes police withhold information for operational reasons, so their best advice is to leave the flow of information to police.

Police are asking anyone who may know the culprit to contact the Waitemata CIB on 09 837 9511, or via private message.

Alternatively, information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.