Ram-raiders target Indian-origin store owner in NZ


Wellington, June 20 (IANS) Three masked men rammed their way into a vape store owned by an Indian-origin man in New Zealand and stole products worth NZ$8000, a media report said.

Police said that they were alerted to burglary on Goulstone Road around 4.59 a.m. (local time) on Tuesday and were making inquiries to find those involved, the NZ Herald reported.

Pawik Patel, owner of Boom Vape Shop, said that he has been forced to shut his shop temporarily due to the damage caused by the burglary early this morning.

CCTV footage showed a car with three masked men pulling up to the kerb before getting in position and ramming the shop’s storefront twice.

The car rammed into the shop’s door with more force to open it, causing smoke to come out of the car.

The trio is seen in the footage taking several loads of products from the top shelf.

Patel said that they knew “exactly what they wanted and went for the most expensive brand and took all of it”.

He told NZ Herald that they targeted two major brands of disposable vapes valued at about NZ$8000.

While he is unsure exactly what the repairs would cost, he said it would be more than the value of the goods stolen. The aluminum door alone cost NZ$3000.

Patel said the store would remain closed most likely until the weekend as they waited for a new door to arrive.

“All we can do is suffer,” Patel told NZ Herald, adding that the store had just opened five months ago.

While this was the first time his new vape store had been targeted, his superette was both held up and ram-raided on separate occasions in 2021.



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