Mr Whippy robbers threaten to "put a hole" in driver
TWO youths who robbed a Mr Whippy owner at gunpoint in New Zealand threatened to "put a hole" in her if she did not hand over her cash.
THE victim said the two teenagers approached her at 3.05pm yesterday while she was parked by the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial in Orakei.
They "pulled quite a large pistol" and placed it on the counter in front of her, before pointing it at her and demanding money.
The whole incident lasted "a matter of seconds", she said, before the robbers ran down towards Mission Bay with a bag of cash and bank cards.
Police are still hunting for the pair, and another male who was seen by witnesses acting as a lookout.
A man who was walking on Tamaki Drive towards Mission Bay in Auckland around 3.30pm said he saw a car leave "suspiciously quickly" after its occupants had come down from the path leading to the Savage Memorial.
"The car was pulling out with the back door still wide open and one young chap was running to get in ... I thought at one stage they were just going to career off into traffic - which is kind of why it caught my eye."
The witness said the car was possibly dark blue and had been parked on Tamaki Drive approximately 100m from the shops at the city end of Mission Bay.
Last night, the victim was surrounded by family and friends but was still "shaken" by the incident. She said she was coping "as good as can be expected".
She was shocked at how brazen the teens were. "It was incredibly audacious. There were a lot of people around, it was busy - it was 3 o'clock on a Sunday.
"They must have been desperate to pull something like that - a lot of my customers are families and children and to do an armed robbery in a family area and a tourist area ..."
She believes it was planned, as she often trades in that spot on Sundays.
"They were obviously waiting for their moment and it was definitely a well-planned and well-executed robbery. It would be nice if there was some kind of protection for people up there. It's a very popular place [but] there's nothing, no CCTV. I think there needs to be a bit more security. "
Mr Whippy New Zealand general manager Chris Dorn said the company had procedures in place for this type of incident.
"[The victim] followed these perfectly by following the armed robbers' requests and giving them the cash in her van," he said.
"We were spoken to as an organisation by the New Zealand Police around what to do in this [type of] incident as recently as August 2014."
He said the most important thing was that the victim was unhurt.