A post-mortem examination of slain Paeroa pizza man Jordan Voudouris has confirmed the death as suspicious.
The 55-year-old was found dead on the footpath near Mykonos Pizza and Pasta takeaways early yesterday.
Detective Senior Glenn Tinsley of the Waihi CIB said a post-mortem carried out in Auckland today indicated the 55-year-old man's death was suspicious.
"I can now confirm we are dealing with a homicide investigation which means the earlier approach of treating the unexplained death as suspicious was the correct one.
"We have a team of about 20 staff working on the case while we are also working with our Bay of Plenty colleagues to determine what, if any links there may have been with an attempted robbery of a service station in Waihi and the aggravated robbery of a dairy in Katikati yesterday morning."
Earlier today Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Whitehead said Waikato detectives were working with their Bay of Plenty colleagues investigating an attempted robbery of the Mobil service station in Waihi and the robbery of a dairy in Katikati a short time later.
"In the first incident a female service station attendant was assaulted when three men tried to unsuccessfully rob the store about 6am.
"We understand one of the offenders was armed with a pistol while another held an unknown object.
Mr Whitehead said the trio fled empty handed and a short time later the Park Road Dairy in Katikati was held up by two men who were described as being armed with a pistol and a hammer.
"CCTV footage from both businesses indicates these were the same offenders for both robberies. In both robberies no vehicle was seen however we believe, given the timings, they would have had a vehicle parked nearby.
"To that end we would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed a car parked in the area of the Mobil service station in Waihi around 6am or anyone who may have noticed a car being driven in such a way as to draw attention between Waihi and Katikati between 6am and 6.20am yesterday."
Equally important to the investigations are any sightings of a vehicle parked on or around Park Rd in Kaitikati around the time of the dairy robbery.
"As we await the results of a post-mortem examination being carried out on the man (Mr Voudouris) in Auckland this morning we are appealing to the public for any information they may have on how he may have suffered his injuries.
"To the offenders involved in the Waihi and Katikati robberies I would urge you to make contact with Police and arrange to surrender yourselves at the earliest opportunity for your own, and the public's safety."
Anyone with any information on the death of the man is asked to contact Paeroa Police on 07 862 8744.
- Waikato Times