Another Palmerston North store robbed for cigarettes
A man armed with a knife demanded cigarettes from a Mobil attendant, continuing a spate of crime in the city.
The Mobil service station at the corner of Featherston and Ruahine streets was robbed about 10.30pm on Monday.
Detective Sergeant Jonathan Oram said a man with a knife demanded cigarettes from the store attendant before fleeing, with cigarettes, on foot towards the hospital.
There were no reported injuries.
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Oram said police were seeking information on the man, described as Caucasian, wearing a black windbreaker jacket with a hood, and dark sunglasses.
On Tuesday, police released a CCTV still image of the man accused of the robbery.
Earlier this month, the Rangiora Ave Mini Market was robbed for cigarettes and cash, and the 17-year-old working in the store at the time was kicked in the face.
The Kelvin Grove Mini Market was also robbed at the end of April by an armed bandit, also for tobacco products.
Moshims Discount House owner Imtiyaz Bakshi said he had owned his store for 16 years and never sold cigarettes.
He said this sometimes made life a bit difficult, but he did not regret the decision not to sell them.
"We don't promote things that kill others."
He was worried about fellow dairy owners who did sell cigarettes.
"I know it's not easy to do business without smokes for dairies."
He made money from other avenues, such as beauty products.
"We modified things to target other groups. You can find different ways but it's not easy."
Two weekends ago, small business owners met with authorities to demand action after a spate of robberies. Police have said they've increased patrols around certain stores.
Anyone with any information can contact police on 06 351 3600 or give information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Bakshi said many dairies relied on having a high proportion of sales from cigarettes.
"So it's definitely not easy to go without it, but it's something that is harmful to the community."