Rangiora Avenue Mini Mart robbery accused appear in court
Three teenagers have appeared in the Palmerston North District Court charged with the aggravated robbery of the Rangiora Avenue Mini Mart on May 1.
Cheyenne Tuatari Paahi, 19, and Kalias Stevens-Fraser, 17, have been remanded in custody, without plea, to appear again on May 26.
A third, younger teenager, has been put into the care of the Ministry for Vulnerable Children and will stay at a youth justice residence until the same day.
Justice of the Peace Necia Parker has ordered all three to appear next in the Youth Court. The older two will afterward be dealt with in the adult justice system.
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Police acting senior sergeant Stu Oram opposed bail on the charges relating to the alleged robbery at the Palmerston North shop at 6.10pm on May 1.
Police allege the defendants entered the store with two other males, who are still being sought. One of them had a firearm, and the other had a baseball bat.
The storekeeper was kicked, and the group left with cash and cigarettes.
Detective Sergeant Dave Wishnowsky said at the timer one of the group was armed with what appeared to be a baseball bat and another was carrying a "toy gun". A staff member was assaulted, but not with the bat.
The storekeeper was taken to hospital for assessment, but was not injured.
In December, the same store was robbed by three people armed with a large machete and a hammer, before they were disturbed by members of the public.
Owner-operator Tinu Patel said afterward the memory of one of the assailants grabbing her neck and holding a hammer to her head during the incident still haunted her.
She had struggled to sleep, and often woke in fright recalling the sensation of his hands closing around her neck and her face being forced against the counter top.
In 2011, her husband had his face slashed with a knife by one of two men during a robbery, in an assault an officer said could have been fatal if the wound had been to his neck.