Robber caught in wake of lengthy motorway chase
JAMES IRELAND AND VANITA PRASAD
A man has been charged with the unsuccessful robbery of a Swanson petrol station after a high-speed chase.
An armed man confronted Swanson GAS station owner Zahid Chaudry just before he closed the station at 8pm on December 13.
The man was armed with a pistol but Mr Chaudry punched and chased him through the station's forecourt.
Mr Chaudry was able to unmask his attacker and catch the attention of a regular customer who called the police.
The offender escaped in a burgundy 1990s Holden Commodore sedan getaway vehicle.
Detective Steve Norris says the distinct vehicle was spotted twice by its original owner in the weeks that followed.
Mr Norris says it was seen again on Boxing Day, with its driver engaging police in a high-speed pursuit from the northwestern motorway to Manukau.
The driver crashed and police arrested him on February 14.
Mr Chaudry is relieved there has been an arrest and says he still thinks about how the robbery attempt could have ended differently.
"What would have happened if I had not been here. I am worried for my wife who works here too.
"These type of people need to know that they cannot push me around. I will fight them," he says.
"I know we can't stop them coming here but this is a lesson that I will not go easily.
"I work hard, we don't make a lot of money. We are doing business peacefully here."
Mr Chaudry wants to thank all the Swanson residents who have been kind to him and his family since the incident.
A 51-year-old Henderson man has been arrested on several theft, drug and driving charges.
He will appear in the Waitakere District Court on March 14.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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