Armed robbery moves shopkeepers on

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 05:00 15/06/2012
Police were at the scene yesterday conducting a forensic investigation and reviewing CCTV footage.
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

Police were at the scene yesterday conducting a forensic investigation and reviewing CCTV footage.

A man with a gun held up the Best of British store in Sandwich Rd shortly before noon yesterday.
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ
A man with a gun held up the Best of British store in Sandwich Rd shortly before noon yesterday.

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An armed robbery is the last straw for Hamilton store owners who say they're moving shop because they no longer feel safe.

A man with a gun held up the Best of British store in Sandwich Rd shortly before noon yesterday.

Owners Lee and Vicky Webster said their son, Harley, 18, was the only one looking after the store at the time, and had only been working for his parents for two weeks.

They said the man "lingered" in the store for a short time, browsing the shelves, before pointing a gun at their son and demanding "all the money in the till".

Mr Webster said the man got away with more than $300.

Cinnamon Cafe head chef Virginia Mold, who was working next door, said she saw the man run past the cafe "near on sprinting" wearing a light grey hoodie, heading in the direction of Pukete Rd.

Police were at the scene yesterday conducting a forensic investigation and reviewing CCTV footage. A police dog team was also searching the road trying to pick up the robber's trail.

Mr and Mrs Webster said there had been a lot of criminal activity in the area over the past year and they were "mortified" after hearing a gun had been pointed at their son.

"I don't feel like it's a safe place to be any more," Mr Webster said.

"Is this the kind of environment you want your family exposed to?"

The store had a window smashed and goods stolen last year and there had been repeated tagging on an outside wall.

The specialist British food shop is tucked behind a cafe and not visible from the street and Mr Webster said that was probably why it was targeted.

The couple plan to close the Sandwich Rd store at the end of the month and to reopen at the Rototuna Shopping Centre.

Mrs Webster said her son was "quite calm" following the holdup.

"He just did what the guy asked," she said. "He didn't try to be a hero or anything."

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- Waikato Times

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