According to a media report, a vape store owned by an individual of Indian origin in New Zealand was broken into by three masked men who made off with products worth NZ$8000. The incident occurred on Goulstone Road at approximately 4.59 a.m. local time on Tuesday. The police have been alerted and are currently conducting investigations to identify the perpetrators, as stated in the NZ Herald.
Pawik Patel, the owner of the Boom Vape Shop, stated that he had to temporarily close his store due to the damage caused by the burglary. CCTV footage captured the sequence of events, showing a car with three masked individuals arriving at the scene. The car forcefully rammed into the storefront twice in order to gain access, resulting in smoke emanating from the vehicle.
The footage further revealed the trio seizing multiple batches of products from the top shelf. Patel mentioned that the burglars seemed to know precisely what they were looking for and specifically targeted the most expensive brand. Two major brands of disposable vapes, valued at approximately NZ$8000, were stolen.
Although the exact cost of repairs remains uncertain, Patel anticipates that it will exceed the value of the stolen goods. The replacement of the aluminium door alone is estimated to be NZ$3000. Consequently, the store is expected to remain closed until the weekend while awaiting the arrival of a new door.
Expressing his frustration, Patel lamented that all they could do is suffer. He revealed that the store had only opened five months ago, and while this was the first instance of his vape store being targeted, his superette had experienced both robberies and ram-raids in separate incidents during 2021.
Amidst the persistent rise in crime and robbery incidents across New Zealand, a coalition of dairy store owners, primarily of Indian descent, presented a petition to the New Zealand Parliament on Wednesday. The petition, supported by 34,000 signatures, urgently calls for governmental intervention, as reported by the NZ Herald.
The petitioners are demanding that the government adopt a tougher stance on crime by increasing police presence on the streets. They also advocate for legal penalties to be imposed on parents of young offenders, as well as stronger punishments for teenage perpetrators. The objective is to address the escalating crime rates and ensure greater safety within the community.
Sunny Kaushal, leader of the Dairy and Business Owners Group in New Zealand, emphasised the urgent need for action, stating that there is a shared understanding among New Zealanders that decisive measures must be taken. He highlighted the alarming statistics, revealing that dairy stores are being burgled and robbed 18 times a day, with ram raids occurring approximately every ten hours.
The petition, which asserts that ‘enough is enough’, comes in the wake of a tragic incident last year. Janak Patel, a 34-year-old dairy worker of Indian origin, was brutally stabbed to death during an alleged robbery at the Rose Cottage Superette in Sandringham. Three individuals have been charged with his murder and are scheduled to stand trial next year.
Following Patel’s tragic death, widespread protests erupted throughout New Zealand, with a significant turnout of individuals demanding that the government take more substantial measures to combat robberies and ensure the safety of the populace.
Despite the implementation of new measures aimed at addressing retail crime in New Zealand, the problem persists. The government recently introduced initiatives, including a NZ$4,000 subsidy to assist shop owners in installing fog cannons as a deterrent against burglaries. However, these efforts have proven insufficient to curb the ongoing crime wave.
Among the petitioners advocating for government action was Patel’s father, who expressed his demand for strong measures to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. The group presented a manifesto outlining their concerns and proposals for reforming self-defence and property defence laws. Specifically, they suggested drawing inspiration from the Australian Criminal Code.
Sunny Kaushal, leader of the Dairy and Business Owners Group, emphasised the urgent need for action and stressed the importance of feeling safe within their communities. He called for establishing clear boundaries and strict measures to be implemented before another murder takes place in New Zealand, as reported by NZ Herald.
The petition was promptly presented to the New Zealand Parliament, merely one day after the troubling incident occurred. Three masked individuals forcefully entered a vape store owned by Pawik Patel, adding urgency to the call for action.
Indians constitute approximately 5 per cent of the total population of New Zealand. According to data from the Ministry of External Affairs, there are around 240,000 Indians residing in New Zealand. Among them, 160,000 individuals are of Indian origin, while the remaining 80,000 are Non-Resident Indians (NRIs).
Government statistics from New Zealand reveal a troubling trend. Until November 20, 2022, the Northland region alone experienced nearly 23 instances of ram raids, as reported by the authorities. These figures highlight the prevalence of such criminal activities and the need for effective measures to address the situation.