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Burglars smashed the window of the Michael Hill store in Pukekohe in an overnight raid earlier this month.  Image credit: South Magazine/Facebook
Burglars smashed the window of the Michael Hill store in Pukekohe in an overnight raid earlier this month. Image credit: South Magazine/Facebook

Michael Hill Jewellers rash of robberies: seven in 12 months

New Zealand police are investigating another burglary at a Michael Hill jewellery store, taking to seven the number of heists targeting the business over the past 12 months.

The most recent burglary took place on Sunday 18 July at Pukekohe in south Auckland.

According to the New Zealand Herald, a group of offenders forced their way into the store at around 12.30am. Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Michele Gillespie said a “quantity of jewellery” was stolen, with the burglars fleeing the area afterwards.

An employee said she received a phone call from security shortly after the incident; a team member met with police later that morning.

The latest incident follows a robbery two weeks ago – the sixth in the past year – when two men robbed the Michael Hill store at Waitakere’s West City Mall on Saturday 3 July. 

"Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Michele Gillespie said a 'quantity of jewellery' was stolen, with the burglars fleeing the area afterwards"

According to media reports at the time, the thieves made off with pieces valued at $NZ100,000 ($AU94,683), including the store’s stock of larger chains and watches, some of which were valued at $NZ18,000 to $NZ25,000.

A Michael Hill employee said, “They knew what they were getting.”

In May, two off-duty police officers and local retailers stepped in to foil the robbery of a Wellington jewellery store.

As previously reported by Jeweller, Deputy Commissioner Tania Kura and her partner, retired Detective Inspector David Archibald, noticed a commotion inside the Michael Hill store in the Lambton Quay area while on a morning walk.

Archibald told New Zealand news website Stuff.co.nz, “I ran into the store and saw a masked and gloved man grappling with the store manager. I managed to get quite a good grab on him. He was pretty strong but from experience, you know, [I] never let go.”

Kura phoned police and several staff from nearby stores rushed to provide assistance.

“I saw someone pulling his belt off and another had the price tag still on it,” Archibald recalled.

“A staff member had brought the belt from their stock to help tie him up, which was smart thinking.”

On-duty officers soon arrived at the scene and arrested the would-be robber, recovering jewellery valued at $NZ28,000 ($AU26,049).

Added Kura, “Police, with the help of some brave members of the public, have taken a risk-taking thief off the street.”

The Pukekohe robbery is one of a spate of Michael Hill Jewellers targeted in the Auckland region including the Queen Street store which was subjected to an overnight smash-and-grab raid on Friday 23 April, and the Westfield Albany store that was burgled on Monday 26 April, with a “large quantity” of jewellery stolen.

Several people – including teenagers – have since been charged in relation to those crimes.

 

More reading:
Off-duty police thwart $26,000 jewellery store robbery
Auckland jeweller targeted in $180,000 armed raid
Man arrested after jeweller defends store with baseball bat
 











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