Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Two More Bank Robberies And A Dairy Hold Up, This Time In Hamilton

The Westpac Bank on the corner of Grey and Clyde Streets in Hamilton East was robbed at around 10 am this morning. A man passed a note to a female teller demanding money and left with an unknown amount of cash. As yet there are no reports about the type of weapon that was used.

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Later in the day the Kiwbank in Frankton (below) was held up by a man with a double barrelled shotgun at 2.40pm, he escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash

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Then at 5.30 a man walked into Mitcham Ave dairy, pointed a hand gun at Mr Patel who owned the shopy and demanded cash, it was exactly two years ago that the dairy was last robbed.

Community Service
"The last robber only got community service," Mr Patel told the Waikato Times. "The Government needs to get tougher on these guys otherwise they will do it again." he said he wasn't scared because dairies in Hamilton "get robbed all the time".

The robberies are just the latest in an alarming leap in aggravated robberies in New Zealand as the year's progressed. There have been 11 armed robberies in NZ banks so far in June and there's every indication that the problem will continue to escalate.

Bank Robber Was Let-Off Lightly
At the start of the year George William Cowen (20) an old boy of St Andrew's College escaped a jail sentence and was given 11 months home detention and 250 hours of community work for the aggravated robbery of another Westpac Bank, St Martins, Christchurch on the afternoon of 8 October, 2008

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The Crown prosecutor asked the Judge Raoul Neave to consider a five-year jail sentence for Cowen and asked whether home detention would send the wrong message to other potential bank robbers. His concerns seem to been borne out.

At present an 18 year old is awaiting trial in Auckland for the robberies of a National Bank in Newmarket, an ASB Bank at St Lukes and the Post Shop on Dominion Road.

It will be interesting to see if he pleads guilty and how lenient the sentencing will be.

See: Over 50 armed robberies in 2009

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