Shot fired during one of three late-night robberies of Auckland bars

By RNZ.co.nz and is republished with permission

A shot was fired inside an Auckland bar during one of three aggravated robberies across the city that police believe may be connected.

Two men seen in CCTV footage are being sought over the aggravated robberies of three Auckland bars. Photo: NZ Police

Three bars in the city have been hit in the early hours of the morning by multiple offenders armed with hammers and a firearm over the past three nights.

In the most recent incident, police were called to the Wapiti Sports Bar in the suburb of Point Chevalier at about 2am this morning.

Detective Senior Sergeant Martin Friend said a number of staff were locking up for the night when the masked offenders entered and threatened them with a firearm.

The robbers took cash and left in two vehicles, one of which was found abandoned near the scene and will be forensically tested today.

A day earlier, multiple offenders – again armed with hammers and a firearm – entered the The Harlequin Sports Bar on Great North Road in Point Chevalier shortly before 1am.

Friend said there were several staff and patrons inside the premises at the time.

“One person has fired a shot inside the premises, which has struck a wall behind the bar and the offenders have taken money from the tills and gaming machines before fleeing,” he said.

Police believe the same group of offenders are responsible for an aggravated robbery at the Mount Albert Sports Bar on New North Road at about 2.20am on Thursday.

“Four offenders armed with hammers have entered the building which at the time had a staff member and four customers inside,” said Friend.

Police are seeking any sightings of this car.

Police are seeking any sightings of this car. Photo: NZ Police

Police are now hunting for a silver Toyota Mark X with the registration HTU397, and two men who were captured on CCTV footage attached.

Friend said this type of violent behaviour was “totally unacceptable”.

“We believe these three incidents are linked and we’re following positive lines of enquiry but need the public’s assistance to find these offenders before they injure someone.”

All of the victims of the robberies have been offered Victim Support.

“We are now working hard to identify and locate those involved so we can hold them accountable and are currently seeking any witnesses to come forward if they haven’t yet,” said Friend.

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