Auckland Caltex station targeted, robbed in broad daylight by group of youths

The owner of several gas stations across New Zealand says he's concerned with worsening trends in crime following a daylight robbery. 

The robbery, which took place at Auckland's Western Springs station on Sunday morning, saw nine offenders leave a staff member completely rattled. 

Owner and operator of 11 Caltex stations Sanjai Bagia says the "trends are worsening" and he fears for the safety of retail businesses.  

"Police are making enquiries following a robbery of a commercial premises on Great North Road, reported at 7:18am," a police spokesperson told Newshub. 

"Several offenders entered the premises and threatened an employee, who activated a fog cannon and then moved to a secure place," they said. 

Police said the offenders stole items before fleeing in a vehicle which was found a short while later. 

Bagia told Newshub the daylight robbery included offenders who "looked like they were mostly teenagers". 

"We were surprised because it's a trend where normally these attacks happen at night, but this is obviously something new. Nine offenders seem like such a high number of offenders at one time who come to do this," he said. 

"Staff followed procedures and the fog cannons were activated, distracting the robbers, who ended up only taking $200 from the register." 

Bagia said this is the eighth time his stations have been targeted since January.

"It's very worrying for businesses like ours, they are mostly family-owned businesses and we can't afford to face this kind of hit," Bagia said. 

"It is painful and stressful not only for us as owners but for staff and customers too."

He says the Government needs to put a stop to crime. 

"The new Government are talking about addressing crime but it's not seen at the moment - we are still seeing trends that are concerning and the trends are worsening," Bagia said.  

"No matter what the Government says the crime is just not easing." 

 Bagia said he can't help but feel concerned for the young offenders across the country. 

"Why are these kids doing this? What's the reason for them doing it?" he asked. 

As a father of four, he said he's concerned that parents aren't always aware of their children's whereabouts. 

"I always know where my children are, what they are doing, who their friends are - I am always aware. Even my friends and community are aware of what is happening with our children," Bagia explained. 

"Somewhere along the line, these children who are offending, their support system or community have lost them. Where are the parents? Why are these kids doing it?" 

Bagia admits watching children do the offending is "sad and upsetting". 

"We got done in Napier in January and the offenders were caught, one was 13 and one was 16," he said. 

"What was the 13-year-old doing? Where were the parents?

"These guys should be in school for goodness' sake." 

He said it makes him sad to see retail targeted "so much nowadays". 

"We are seeing this happen too much in retail now - in the malls, at dairies, and now service stations." 

"When will this stop? They can target any business out there, it never used to happen to this level." 

Bargia said he's unsure why their stations are often targeted, even after installing "bollards, fog cannons and iron gates". 

"We are not easy targets so we don't know why they keep trying. We hope this stops at some stage, because enough is enough," he told Newshub. 

He said he doesn't have much hope for the future and fears the robberies will continue.  

"At the end of the day we are there to conduct business and to employ people and provide service to our customers - but things like this impact everything badly," he said. 

"We just really need to see more police patrolling and some serious change, otherwise it's going to keep getting worse."