Thieves break into five Howick businesses
Local community leaders have been quick to condemn the actions of a group of people who allegedly broke into five east Auckland businesses.
A police spokesperson says officers are investigating multiple reports of burglaries committed in Howick on Tuesday morning.
“At about 3.05am police responded to reports of a group of offenders breaking into several retail addresses on Moore Street.
“It’s understood the group arrived and later fled the scene in a dark SUV.
“At this stage, police enquiries remain ongoing and no arrests have been made.”
The stores targeted at the block of businesses are Bin Inn, Pizza Club, Fruit World, Awesome Shop and Yume Sushi.
Police were still at the scene and workers were cleaning up the mess caused during the break-ins when the Times visited on Tuesday morning.
Large panes of glass were broken at the entries of Pizza Club, Yume Sushi and Bin Inn.
The front of several stores was cordoned off with yellow police tape.
The five offenders who broke into Bin Inn were filmed in action by its security cameras.
Footage shows the group enter the store with one of them going behind the counter.
Another member of the group stands back and appears to be filming the others with a mobile phone.
Bin Inn store owner Chanchal Deol says the group didn’t steal anything from his store.
He says the till was open and empty and he believes they filmed their actions to upload to social media app TikTok.
“They came in and in 30 seconds they had come and gone,” Deol says.
“I don’t know how they did it but they broke a glass [at the storefront].
“It’s upsetting. We’ve been celebrating nine years’ business this year and we’re celebrating this month as our [store’s] birthday.”
Deol says he lives close to his store and got there within two minutes of being alerted to the break-in.
He says police were already at the scene when he arrived.
“Thank goodness the police were here before me.
“I was scared to come here at 3am. I called my cousin and he came as well and I called my security company.
“I was surprised the police were here already.
“That’s the only thing that makes me relieved. If they weren’t here I would be very angry.”
The break-ins have drawn strong condemnation from east Auckland politicians.
Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown says: “I’m shocked to hear five shops have been burgled in Howick overnight.
“This will be heart-breaking for the business owners and their staff and I hope the perpetrators are quickly brought to justice.
“This is a direct result of a soft-on-crime Labour Government which has focused on emptying our prisons rather than holding criminals to account.”
Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart shares Brown’s sentiments.
“These ram-raids and anti-social behaviour are becoming very disturbing,” she says.
“The Government and the lawmakers need to come down hard and stop this before someone is killed.
“My thoughts are with all the businesses that have suffered at the hands of the criminals.”
People with information on the burglaries of the Moore Street businesses on Tuesday morning can phone police on 105 quoting file number P051658194, or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers tip-off line on 0800 555 111.