Dairy robberies: Two arrested after knife-point attack

Two of four masked offenders who robbed a dairy in south Auckland on Tuesday have been arrested.

"We've made two arrests after that violent attack on Tuesday evening. We're out there looking for the last two, we know who they are," Detective Inspector Fa'a Va'aelua told The AM Show on Friday morning.

The two arrests were made late on Thursday night, and the offenders will appear in Manukau District Court on Friday.

They are aged 17 and 20, Insp Va'aelua says.

He says the ages of offenders in recent dairy robberies cover a wide range, "but we also know a large number of them are youth".

Insp Va'aelua is the head of the task force set up to deal with aggravated robberies across Auckland.

The offenders entered the dairy on Raglan St, Mangere, on Tuesday at 7:30pm and bashed a shopkeeper on the back of the head. They then held a knife to his throat and took off with cigarettes.

It's the latest in a string of violent dairy robberies, with 68 people in Auckland alone arrested for aggravated robberies since February.

Dairies across the country fear they'll have to pull tobacco and cigarettes from their shelves to prevent thefts, if police can't offer them better security.

Labour MP Grant Roberston told The AM Show Government action has been "pitiful".

"This didn't just happen today. We've had nine years of a Government that has actually systematically undermined community policing.

"Nine years of underfunding, nine years of underresourcing - we need those police in the community, on the beat."

But Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett says the Goverment has put more police on streets. 

"We've also been doing a lot more of the preventative. Police have been into more than 1000 dairy and retail outlets, looking at how they're laid out.

"It's just absolutely unacceptable. They shouldn't be fearful, and they definitely don't have to hunger strike. We've heard them, we're taking them seriously."