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Hammer used in ‘daylight robbery’

Ram Superstore, on Roberts Rd in Lansdowne, was robbed on Sunday. PHOTO/FILE


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A robber threatened a Masterton shop worker with a hammer, holding him against his will, while his mates stole tobacco products worth thousands of dollars.

The Ram Superstore, on Roberts Rd in Lansdowne, is the latest dairy to be targeted by armed robberies after cigarettes were taken from the Colombo General Store last month.

Police are continuing their investigation into the robbery, which happened after four males entered the store at about 7.30pm on Sunday night.

So far, no arrests have been made.

The father of the store owner had been working inside alone, restocking the fridges with drinks, when the group walked in.

“Very fast, I went and hid in the kitchen,” said man, who did not want to be named.

“One came back and held me. I saw the hammer in his right hand.

“I said take what you want and go.”

The whole ordeal had been over within about two minutes, he said.

His son-in-law Shailesh Patel, said the robbers made off with cigarettes worth about $7000, which they had stuffed into at least three backpacks.

“Four guys came in, one had a hammer, they just targeted the smokes . . . one guy jumped over the counter and got straight into the cigarette stand, and one guy held my father-in-law inside [the kitchen].”

The group then fled, taking with them two trays from the cigarette cabinet, which they ditched about 200 metres down the road.

Police arrived at the store about two minutes after being called.

Mr Patel said the robbers had covered their faces during the raid, so it was hard to identify them through the security camera footage.

“No one was hurt luckily, but it was a scary thing to happen.”

He said the family worked hard at the store, at least 90 hours a week and did not take days off.

“We thank the local people who support our daily business, we’re really grateful.

“We don’t want something silly like this to happen — just to come in a rob us in daylight.”

He said it would be good to have more police patrolling areas where there were dairies, especially during the evening, when robberies usually happened.

Last month, cigarettes were stolen from the Colombo General Store during an armed robbery.

The owner stood by and watched as group of youths, which included a 13-year-old, jumped the counter with a steel bar.

It was the second time the Masterton dairy had been robbed of tobacco in a matter of months.


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