West Auckland post shop closing after 7 burglaries leave owners living in fear, unable to sleep

An Auckland shop owner is closing her store after being repeatedly targeted by thieves - leaving her too scared to sleep at night.

Retailers have increasingly been highlighting the struggles they're facing as robberies and burglaries increase. 

It's gotten so bad west Auckland post shop owner Aboli Bhave has decided to close her Titirangi store after 20 years. It comes after she was burgled more than six times in the past five years. 

Aboli told AM on Tuesday she has been struggling to sleep at night after her shop was burgled six times since 2018, but a 3am ram raid this April was the "final straw". 

Bhave's husband Shrikant, appeared alongside her on AM and said they found a "mess" when they arrived to see the damage caused by the ram-raid. 

"We had glass fully shattered, three panes of big glass fully shattered. The stands where all the products had been displayed have been smashed and products lying everywhere. It was a mess," he told AM.

The thieves were in the store for about a minute and a half, leaving Aboli with a month-long work to "get back to normal". 

Aboli told AM she and her staff don't feel safe in the store, which is why they have decided to shut the shop. 

The Titirangi community rallied around the post shop and helped Aboli clean up following the ram raid. 

But Shrikant said despite this, they still have sleepless nights in fear of being targeted again by thieves. 

"Tonight, the phone rings after 12am in the night, we don't know what it is going to be. So if you can't have a sleepless night. What's the point?" 

Bhave said she doesn't know what she will do next once the post shop closes, but the "priority" is getting a good night's sleep. 

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said the ram raids and aggravated robberies hitting retailers are "utterly unacceptable" and admits the Government still has work to do. 

"I think it's absolutely heartbreaking and it is totally unacceptable. I absolutely acknowledge the situation we're facing around retail crime, at the moment; with ram raids and aggravated robberies is utterly unacceptable," the Prime Minister told AM on Tuesday. 

"I think the New Zealand Police have been doing a good job in making sure that they're following up and that they're investigating these and that they're arresting people and holding them accountable. There are still far too many of them happening, though. 

"I think that is something that the Government takes very seriously. We've clearly got a lot more work to do in this space."  

Watch the full interview with Aboli and Shrikant Bhave in the video above.