Ram raids: Stirling Sports and Spark stores hit overnight

A woman whose sports clothing store was hit in a ram raid overnight said the justice system needs to get tough with youth offenders.

Maree and Andrew Trow were woken at 3.45am on Thursday morning by security calls alerting to multiple alarms at their Stirling Sports store in Thames.

It was the second hit on their store in two years – there had also been another attempt.

“I knew they had gained access because of the multiple activations so I threw on some clothes and headed there,” Marie Trow said.

“There were police onsite and there was a small gold Demio still in the doorway.”

As Trow stood talking with police they got a call to say the Spark store down the road had also been hit.

Police told the Herald they responded to two burglaries on Pollen St, Thames, at 3.45am.

Senior Sergeant Aaron Fraser said an investigation was in progress to determine the circumstances of the incidents, including whether they are linked.

CCTV footage at Stirling Sports showed four or five offenders wearing gloves and with their hoods up ransacking the store of men’s clothing and caps.

“They took a substantial amount of clothing and were out in three minutes,” Trow said.

“We have been through this a few times now – they are getting glorified. It f***s me off no end.”

The couple were “toughened” to the break-ins but Trow said that was wearing thin and wanted action at a governmental level.

“The repercussion for these a***holes is where it needs to change. The Government needs to do something so law enforcement has the ability to act – they get away with it.

“The police do their job and then they go through the system and are sent home – there is no punishment.”

The hits on Stirling Sports and Spark in Thames add to the growing number of brazen smash and grab robberies.

A number of the raids were allegedly carried out by young people who then posted about their exploits on social media.

Trow said she wasn’t sure if this was the case with the Stirling Sports’ hit as two of the offenders were of a larger build.

Earlier this week three people were arrested after a series of ram raids, burglaries and attempted heists in Auckland.

The Huffer Store in Ponsonby was one hit with up to $20,000 of luxury clothing stolen.

On the same night, Harvey Norman at the Westgate shopping complex was also hit. The same vehicles then rammed a liquor storefront in Titirangi.

Kate Berry, the director of Huffer, told the Herald it was the fourth break-in at Huffer this year.

Berry said the break-ins were the result of a fractured society and change needs to be made.

“Fundamentally we need to put more energy into youth – parents need to take more responsibility and accountability for where their children are.

“They need to parent, and parent responsibly and schools need the power to help children and teenagers that need help.”

In today’s Herald, the father of a 14-year-old allegedly involved in a spate of ram raids said he feared his son would either kill or be killed if he carries on.

The father said his son had been involved in 20 ram raids.

At least 45 children or teenagers have allegedly been behind eight crimes such as break-ins and ram raids.

In April nine young people – including an 11-year-old driver – were caught by police after a ram raid in Sandringham.

Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the Stirling Sports and Spark burglaries or has information that might help Police with inquiries, please call 105 and quote case number 220505/8288.

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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