Attempted smash-and-grab at Auckland Michael Hill jewellery store sparks mall evacuation

A 20-year-old man has been arrested following a robbery at a Michael Hill store in Auckland on Sunday morning.

The attempted smash-and-grab took place inside Silverdale Mall on Silverdale Street around 11:20am.

"The offender was armed with a hammer, and left the store after the fog cannon was activated," a police spokesperson said.

"He left the scene in a vehicle continuing to the Northern motorway where the vehicle was stopped north of the Lonely Track Road Overbridge."

The arrest comes after emergency services were seen swarming outside the Silverdale Mall earlier this morning.

A Michael Hill spokesperson told Newshub a person entered Michael Hill's Silverdale store in an attempted robbery but was unable to penetrate the armoured glass displays.  

"Fog cannons were also activated. The assailant fled the scene and has since been apprehended by police," the spokesperson said.  

New Zealand Herald reports shoppers at the busy mall were evacuated when fog cannons were activated.  

People on social media have also posted about the smash-and-grab, with some urging people to stay away from the mall.  

"We were inside when it happened and we were evacuated. Not quite sure if they got anything in the end," one person wrote. 

One man who witnessed the police chase going down John Fair Drive contacted Newshub and described it as the "slowest police chase I have ever seen in my life."

A video posted to TikTok shows a police chase in Milldale soon after the mall incident. 

It comes just one day after another Michael Hill store was targeted at the Bayfair Shopping Centre on Girven Road, Mount Maunganui at about 3pm. 

The attack left shoppers stunned as thieves stormed the store, set off the fog cannon and continued to smash glass cabinets before fleeing in a vehicle with stolen jewellery.  

After the smash-and-grab in Mount Maunganui, Michael Hill CEO Daniel Bracken said the company has continued its efforts to increase security measures, including installing smash-proof assault glass.   

"This, in addition to fog cannons, alarm screamers, personal alarms for staff, additional security cameras and the use of DNA spray technology demonstrates the Jeweller's continued commitment to enhancing the safety and protection of its team members and customers," Bracken said in a statement on Saturday evening.   

Bracken said the continual offending at their stores around New Zealand, has prompted Michael Hill to roll out assault glass across its stores as an added security measure.  

"This anti-bandit armoured glass can withstand repeated heavy blows, making it near impossible to penetrate," he said.   

"It's incredibly disturbing to see these incidents continue, and as such the implementation of Assault glass across all stores remains a priority."  

They said they will continue working to ensure their team and customers are protected.