Auckland crime wave: Dramatic CCTV footage shows group of thieves ram-raiding vape store

CCTV footage has emerged of a ram-raid at an Auckland vape store that was targeted by thieves for the second time in a week. 

The Vape Room in Henderson Valley was targeted by thieves at 3:08am on Tuesday, the timestamp on the footage shows.

A police spokesperson said when officers arrived at the vape shop, the thieves had fled in three stolen vehicles, with two of them used to ram-raid the shop.

In the video, a car is seen reversing into the shop, demolishing the storefront, and driving out again. About seven people then run inside and start hurriedly grabbing items off the shelves, repeatedly going back and forward for about one minute.

The thieves take multiple armfuls of items and nearly completely clear three long shelves of products before they presumably flee the scene.

Vape Room owner Savi Arora told Newshub he got a call from neighbours at 3am to alert him to the ram-raid, which he is devastated by.  

"I felt so terrible, it was so stressful [and] it was very scary. I have a little kid at home and my wife didn't want me to go and check it out," he said.

"But I came in here, I was so disappointed looking at my store all broken into, everything on the floor, everything is missing. It's so terrible, I feel so devastated, it's just disappointing."

Ram-raids have spiked this year, with Police Minister Chris Hipkins revealing in Parliament last month there had been 129 ram-raids since May and "almost all of them" had been committed by people under 18. 

When questioned by ACT about the spike in ram-raids, Hipkins told the House 38 offenders had been identified or arrested with "almost all of these people are under 18 years old, and their median age was 15".  

In the past five years, ram-raids and smash-and-grab robberies have increased dramatically with a 400 percent spike - 76 percent of those being caught under the age of 18, RNZ reported last month.

Auckland crime wave: Dramatic CCTV footage shows group of thieves ram-raiding vape store
Photo credit: Supplied

Arora told Newshub he is scared to come to work after the spike in crime in Auckland this year.  

"It's getting worse every day. Something needs to be done about it otherwise we are just too scared even to come to work," he said. 

"We are very scared, it's just not fair on anyone. It's not fair on us, it's not fair on the community as well."   

A person who witnessed the ram-raid, who wished to remain anonymous, told Newshub he was out with his dogs when the burglary happened.

"I was taking our two puppies out to go toilet [when] I heard tyres screaming and three very loud crashes, I immediately knew what it was," the witness said.

He said he ran down his driveway to see between eight and 10 young offenders "running in and out of the shop loading the waiting vehicles". 

Police urge anyone who witnessed the ram-raid to come forward and speak to them.

"Enquiries are ongoing to ascertain what was taken, and to locate the offenders. Anyone with information on the offenders or the incident is asked to contact Police on 105, quoting P051891403," the police spokesperson said.