Auckland and Waikato police have arrested 14 young people for suspected involvement in recent commercial aggravated robberies.
Assistant Commissioner Richard Chambers said Auckland City Police have arrested six people following an aggravated robbery at St Lukes mall last week.
The Operation Rhino investigation team arrested and charged an 18-year-old male and five youths overnight for their involvement in an aggravated robbery of a retail store within the St Lukes complex on September 20.
"These six alleged offenders, along with two other youths, have also been charged with conspiring to commit aggravated robbery after the group was found by Police in two vehicles in east Auckland on Monday night," Asst Cmmr Chambers said.
"A quantity of jewellery and other evidential items were located by the investigation team during a subsequent search of the vehicles."
These eight alleged offenders arrested overnight will appear in the Auckland District Court and Youth Courts respectively in due course. An additional alleged youth offender has already been charged with their involvement in this matter, which is currently before the Youth Court.
Enquiries are ongoing into other aggravated robberies and burglaries across Tāmaki Makaurau that police allege the group is believed to be responsible for.
"We continue to appeal for anyone with information, including footage of any incidents, to please get in touch," Asst Cmmr Chambers said.
"You can do that by calling Police on 105 or online at https://www.police.govt.nz/use-105, using 'Update My Report' referencing file number 220920/9009.
"Photos or video can be uploaded via this online portal: https://rhino.nc3.govt.nz/. They can also be emailed to the dedicated Operation Rhino email: email@example.com.
"Information can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111."
Meanwhile, the other six young people were arrested following a robbery at a Hamilton bottle store.
Police were called to the store in Borman Road in Flagstaff at about 6:50pm on Monday to reports the store had been robbed.
Offenders had entered the store on foot armed with weapons including machetes, tyre irons, and screwdrivers, Asst Cmmr Chambers said.
"They threatened the shopkeepers with the weapons and made off in two vehicles," he said.
"The vehicles were not used to gain entry to the store.
"One of the vehicles was seen a short time later by Police staff on Hukanui Road, before it was located again on Chedworth Place."
Cordons were put in place and police shortly located all six believed to have been involved in the robbery. Some of the weapons were located inside the vehicles and another in a nearby garden, Asst Cmmr Chambers said.
Two of the young people were due in Hamilton Youth Court on Tuesday, while the four others are due in court on Wednesday.
Furthermore, one of the people arrested in east Auckland on Monday night, who is mentioned above, has been charged in relation to the aggravated robbery of Michael Hill Jeweller at The Base in Hamilton on Sunday, Asst Cmmr Chambers said. Further inquiries into that robbery are ongoing.
"Police recognise the community's concern at these brazen incidents and are working tirelessly to hold offenders to account," he said.
"We are also providing further reassurance in high-traffic areas such as malls and shopping centres."