Knife-wielding thief pleads guilty to aggravated robbery of Hastings sports bar
Rennie Cunningham paced around a bar threatening to kill the manager with a large knife before he and an accomplice made off with a bag of cash.
Cunningham, 44, and his unidentified co-offender entered the Zabeels Sports Bar and TAB in Hastings at about 9.30am on Tuesday, June 7 last year.
The manager saw Cunningham pull up a blue bandana to partially cover hs face as he entered, while his accomplice pulled a balaclava over his face.
There were two customers in the main bar and a few customers in the gaming lounge playing pokies.
As the pair approached the bar they both started started yelling and demanding that the manager given them money.
Cunningham pulled a knife from the front pocket of his top. The blade of the knife was 21cm long.
According to a summary of facts, he paced up and down the bar waving the knife and telling the manager "I will kill you, give me all your money".
Meanwhile the co-offender went behind the bar and continued to demand money. He made the manager open three tills and remove cash.
The pair ran out of the bar with a bag containing cash, then along King Street to the Countdown supermarket car park. They jumped into the rear of a maroon sedan which had a third man at the wheel, and sped away northward on King Street.
When spoken to by police Cunningham said he knew nothing about the robbery. He was charged in September last year.
He appeared in Napier District Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years' prison.
He was remanded in custody until August.
Detective Sergeant Craig Vining said police were still seeking Cunningham's co-offender, who was believed to have been involved in further aggravated robberies in the district.
"We are pleased with this result but we are still very interested in finding the second man involved in this aggravated robbery and if anyone has any information we would like to hear from them," Vining said.
Contact local police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 with any information.