Armed raiders sack alleged gambling den

ROBERT KIDD
Last updated 05:00 09/11/2012

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Police have revealed masked gunmen made off with more than $10,000 after they raided a suspected suburban Auckland gambling den last week.

Two women and four men were playing cards in the Mt Roskill house at about 12.45am on November 2, when five men with their faces covered, and wearing gloves, burst through the front and back doors and threatened them.

A dog was shot, a man assaulted with the butt of a rifle and five others left traumatised after the violent home invasion in Duke St.

The attackers had three firearms, a hammer and a spade between them, and made off with cash, jewellery and a black 2003 Toyota Camry saloon.

The car was recovered in a nearby street but police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said they were yet to make any arrests.

"It appears the gambling sessions were regularly held at the address making it a target for such offenders," she said.

The shot collie was yesterday back at the property, sporting a bald patch on its chest, but appeared lively.

A man at the address could not speak English but indicated he was not hopeful the money or stolen items would be returned.

Detective senior sergeant Chris Cahill, of Auckland Metro Crime and Operations Support, said illegal gambling that dealt in ''hard cash'' made those involved vulnerable to criminals.

According to the Internal Affairs Department, any gambling at an unlicensed property is illegal if the total prize or turnover is more than $500.

A woman who lives four doors down from the house, and has lived there for about 50 years, claimed the property was a well known gambling den.

Mary Magee said a friend of hers, selling calendars for the local church, had visited there late last year ''and he took notice of all the money on the table and put two and two together''.

The retiree said mainly Thai men would visit the house between Thursday and Sunday and wouldn't leave until around 2am.

''Cars would be parked up on both sides of the street ... one weekend a whole mini-van of them turned up,'' she said.

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