Napier dairy owners shaken after armed robbery

Napier dairy owners shaken after armed robbery

Newshub has obtained footage of a terrifying armed robbery in Napier overnight.

The incident saw three people enter a dairy, and a woman threaten the shopkeepers with a gun before stealing cigarettes. The crime has shaken the family-owned business.

It was 6:30pm on a Friday - a quiet evening at the League Park Dairy - before it soon turned into a frightening ordeal.

Three people, including one with a gun, demanded cash and cigarettes.

Out back, the owner noticed the commotion, only to be met by an armed woman with a rifle.

"You can be mentally prepared for these things, but when someone comes in and points a gun at you, it's a completely different story. It's completely terrifying," says owner Hetal Shasti.

The offenders then forced another woman into the back of the shop, before fleeing with their loot.

This type of incident is becoming a common occurrence, with armed offenders robbing dairies for cigarettes.

But Mr Shasti says it's not as if he can just stop selling them.

"Being a businessman, 50 or 60 percent of turnover is based on smokes, so if we stop selling smokes we would be easily out of business straight away," he says.

Many have suggested a link between these attacks and increased tobacco taxes. But the Police Association says it's more concerned about what frontline officers are having to deal with.

"The more they offend, the more they get away with it, the more risks they're willing to take. It's more concerning there are firearms out there in the public and they're willing to use it," says Police Association president Craig Tickelpenny.

And despite the attack, Mr Shasti says he's just glad they didn't arrive minutes earlier, when his young child was present.

"I did not want my little one to see these crap things, because otherwise she would have been traumatised for life," he says.

Police are still investigating and want to hear from anyone who might have have been offered cheap cigarettes.

Mr Shasti and his family are now considering whether they continue trading or close in fear of another attack.