Petrol station owner defends his patch

VANITA PRASAD
Last updated 06:50 20/12/2012
Pakanese C.I

A man with a gun tries to rob an Auckland gas station.

Zahid Chaudry
VANITA PRASAD / Fairfax NZ
BATTLE SCARS: Zahid Chaudry managed to scare off the intruder by confronting him.

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An armed robber got more than he bargained for when he attempted to steal from Zahid Chaudry's petrol station.

The Swanson GAS station owner was on his computer about 8pm on Thursday when an armed man confronted him.

Chaudry said instinct kicked in when he saw the offender's pistol and balaclava.

"I just pushed him across the store and thought I have to get him out of here."

He began beating the robber who started smashing him in the face with the butt of his weapon.

"We were still fighting, I didn't want to give up, he didn't want to give up."

Chaudry began to get the better of his assailant by throwing him on to the concrete forecourt and removing his disguise.

He continued defending his store while a regular customer pulled up outside and called 111.

Chaudry said the man, who looked in his mid-40s with a goatee, gave up and ran to a getaway car waiting on Swanson Rd.

Another resident who saw the getaway pursued the vehicle, getting the driver's registration plate number.

Mechanic John Dormer from neighbouring business Candia Automotive said Chaudry had defended his store bravely.

"He deserves a bravery award," Dormer said.

Chaudry has been told by many people that he was stupid for fighting the robber, but he stands by his actions.

"If something happened to me who would be there for my wife and daughter? But if I did not fight him he'd just be back for more."

He said he and his wife have owned the station for five years but had never been attacked.

He is grateful to the two people who helped: "I love Swanson and I love the people who live here."

The offender left in a purple or burgundy 1990's Holden Commodore Sedan. The car was last seen in the Massey area.

Police are investigating the incident.

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