Robbers wield shotgun

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 20/05/2014

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Police are seeking witnesses to the armed robbery of a popular Hamilton bar almost two years after a similar holdup at nearby Burger King that remains unsolved.

On Sunday night two offenders, armed with a shotgun, confronted a Still Working Bar staff member as he walked to his car, and forced him to return to the bar and open its safe.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Patterson, of the Hamilton CIB, said police were called to the scene of Lynden Court, Chartwell, shortly before 11pm after reports a staff member had been robbed.

"As a staff member was locking up and walking towards his car about 10.45pm he was confronted by two men, one who was armed with a double-barrelled shotgun," Patterson said.

"The victim had a sum of money taken off him before he was led back inside and forced to open the store's safe where the thieves took more money.

"The offenders then fled out the store's backdoor and drove off in a silver Subaru car that had been parked in an adjoining service lane."

The offenders both wore gloves and hooded sweatshirts with the hoods over their heads. Fabric covered their faces.

The robbery is eerily similar a holdup at nearby Chartwell Burger King in 2012.

Detective Will Loughrin, then of the Hamilton CIB, said at the time police believed the pair may strike again.

"We believe the two men involved had familiarised themselves with the layout of the premises before they struck, laying in wait for a staff member to take out the rubbish, after closing, about 11.25pm, " Loughrin said.

"Putting a sawnoff shotgun to the head of the worker, the offenders have marched him back into the store where they then confronted the other workers and store manager before making off with an undisclosed sum of cash."

Both offenders wore hooded sweatshirts.

They were tracked from the rear of the premises, through a gap in the fence to Rossiter Pl, across Comries Rd and on to Bellmont Ave where the trail died, leading Loughrin to believe the pair had a getaway vehicle waiting.

Loughrin, who has since changed departments, confirmed the case remains unsolved.

Patterson said: "If for some reason there is a link later on we'll probably work on it then, but at this stage we're working on it as an independent robbery."

The offenders' description was also different, he said.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously around the Still Working Bar or service lane shortly before the robbery or who saw anyone linked to the silver Subaru in Egmont St around 11pm, Patterson said.

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Police officers found a silver Subaru Impreza station wagon parked in nearby Egmont St. It was believed to be linked to the robbery.

The car had been stolen earlier in the evening from outside an address in River Rd, Fairfield. It was examined yesterday.

Police also searched the bar and surrounding area for clues.

The bar owner did not want to speak publicly about the incident.

- Waikato Times

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