Overnight robberies in Christchurch 'shocking state of affairs'
Three teens have been arrested for an overnight robbery at a petrol station.
It was 3.45am. Inside the Christchurch Challenge station the man behind the counter was reading the paper.
The door opened and three masked men burst inside, wielding hammers and screwdrivers. They wanted tobacco and whatever cash they could grab; the helpless employee was backed into a corner, he had his hands up and barely moving as the trio rushed to complete their heist.
CCTV caught the terrifying raid, one of a growing number happening around New Zealand.
Police confirmed on Tuesday night that all three people involved in the robbery at Challenge Opawa had been arrested.
Three teenagers were charged with aggravated robbery and would go before the Youth Court.
The stolen property had been recovered and Police were not seeking anyone else in connection to the crime.
More than $5000 of tobacco products were stolen from the petrol station, on Opawa Rd, along with $300 cash, a staff member said.
"I'm still adding up exactly how much what they took was worth," she said.
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The trend of youth crime was a concern, a Police spokesman said.
"It's a shocking state of affairs at the moment, it seems to be a large group of them."
Earlier, three people robbed a man on a street in Hornby.
The group threatened the man on Kathleen Cres, near Denton Park, and stole his wallet and keys.
No description of the offenders was available
"They've run off on foot," the spokesman said.
Stuff revealed last month that the escalating cost of tobacco was creating a thriving a black market. A pack of 20 cigarettes is expected to cost about $30 by 2020.
Burglars targeted up to 20 cigarette retailers in Christchurch, mainly dairies and service stations, within a fortnight this month, making off with thousands of dollars worth of tobacco products.
Customs said the issue of illegally manufactured or smuggled tobacco was "not a significant problem", but police believed the black market was fuelling armed robberies and burglaries as criminal targeted dairies to steal tobacco products for resale.