The good samaritan who guards his local dairy

A good samaritan has come to the rescue of a community dairy hit by burglars multiple times within months.

Stephen Falepau spends his days sitting outside the Pavan Dairy on Arthur Street, Onehunga, protecting it from potential robbers.

The dairy has seen multiple burglaries in the past few years and dozens of attempted break-ins.

New Zealand has seen two violent attacks on dairy owners in the last week, and there have been 500 tobacco outlet robberies in the past year.

Mr Falepau, who was born in Samoa and grew up in Otara, is an old friend of the dairy's owner. He now stations himself outside the shop, both for security purposes and to bring the local community together.

Mr Falepau has been guarding the dairy for over a year, and says it hasn't been hit in the time he's been there. He isn't paid for his services - he's there for the sake of the community.

Mr Falepau says neighbours need to get together in order to protect their communities.

"If you've got a local dairy, go and talk to them," he says. "Get to know your shops and the community, the neighbours - get together. The more people that help out, the more crime will decrease.

"You do something for another person and they do the same for you. I've been brought like that, most of us have. Everyone being nosey in other people's business - that's good."

Dairy owner William Gounder says the store has been hit multiple times over the years. At one point there were eight attempted break-ins in just two months.

He's had rocks thrown through his windows, the locks cut and the shutters torn up. During one robbery, his wife hid in a cupboard while thieves took everything - money, cigarettes, chocolate and energy drinks.

Just this week, he's seen two cars cruising by, scoping out the store. Mr Gounder says it's a frightening situation and police haven't done anything to help.

"They come, and then they're gone. The only thing they've said to me is that I'm near the motorway, that's why I'm targeted. But that doesn't help me."

When Mr Falepau is not on guard outside, the dairy is secured with a locked iron gate - which was donated by the owner of a local car yard. The gate allows the dairy owners to check who wants to enter the store before they're allowed in.

Does he ever feel frightened, guarding a store that has been hit by criminals so many times?

"Only time I used to get frightened was of mum or dad with the jandals. Those days are gone now. To me now, if I have to go, I'll go."

Mr Falepou says he keeps himself occupied during the long days by solving crossword puzzles, to keep his brain alert and stay awake.

Inspector Joe Tipene, Auckland City East area prevention manager said police have offered Mr Gounder ongoing support and crime prevention advice, and offenders have been charged in relation to two recent aggravated robberies at the dairy.

"Police take seriously any incidents that occur against dairy owners including aggravated robberies and other theft crimes. Our staff have been in regular contact with Mr Gounder, including in the past week."

Mr Tipene says police presence in the area has been stepped up with community area patrols.

"Our staff have visited the premise on multiple occasions offering crime prevention advice, which has included identifying vulnerable entry points for offenders. We have also given crime prevention posters, gone over [Mr Gounder's] CCTV monitoring system and invited him to attend safety seminars specifically tailored to retailers who have been targeted by offenders. We are aware that these incidents can be particularly distressing for those involved and as part of our services victim support is offered."

He says police are "aware that the owner has employed an individual to act as security outside the dairy."