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Service station hammered

A man was trapped when his car smashed into a power pole on Monday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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The owners of Masterton’s Challenge service station are considering taking cigarettes off the shelves for good after a break-in overnight saw their most expensive packets taken.

Security camera footage showed that two men broke the large glass window near the counter with a hammer before entering the store at about 5am on Monday.

The pair used the hammer to “hit and hit” the padlocks that locked the metal cabinets holding all the store’s cigarettes and tobacco, service station owner Jim Mason said.

The Challenge Parkview Motors was broken into on Monday morning.

After only managing to smash open one cabinet, the pair took cigarettes and tobacco from three drawers.

They took the expensive packets, such as the Holiday Red 50g of tobacco which sold for $92 a pouch.

“It’s a cheaper way to get them,” he said.

The two men even dropped some packets on their way out, Mr Mason said.

Mr Mason and his wife, Diane, have owned the Challenge Parkview Motors on Dixon St for 33 years.

In the past year, the station has been broken into at least twice, with cigarettes as the target.

“They are not interested in anything else.”

Mr Mason was yet to calculate how much had been stolen but estimated his losses in the thousands of dollars.

“It’s just one of those things, it’s frustrating more than anything,” Mr Mason said.

Police attended Monday morning and took fingerprints.

The incident comes two weeks after three teens entered the Belvedere Store, one armed with a knife, and took cigarettes and cash.

The holiday weekend also saw a heavy crash when an elderly couple and their dog were injured after their vehicle smashed into a power pole near Masterton on Monday afternoon.

The bypass road was closed from Kibblewhite Rd to Loopline Rd while emergency crews attended the crash.

The couple, who were believed to be from Taranaki, were heading towards Masterton when the vehicle veered across the road and hit the pole at about 3pm.

The male driver suffered serious injuries. He was trapped in the vehicle and fire crews had to use extraction gear to remove the doors, car pillars and wheels before freeing him.

Masterton fire station office Mike Cornford said the driver was “reasonably well-trapped”.

The man’s wife suffered injuries to her chest.

They were taken to Wairarapa Hospital by Wellington Free Ambulance.

“The dog was in the back seat, he got thrown around a little bit, and had some injuries,” Mr Cornford said.

A vet, who assessed the dog, said: “He’s going to be okay as well.”

The road was reopened by 4.30pm.

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