A group of nine alleged offenders stormed a west Auckland service station on Sunday morning.

Caltex Western Springs on Great North Road was broken into just after 7am on Sunday.

The person working at the time deployed a fog cannon before he was threatened by a hammer-wielding offender who came into the back room where he hid.

Service station owner Sanjai Bagai said eight Caltex outlets owned by him in the North Island had been targeted by robbers since January.

“This is an extremely worrying trend as the incidents are now happening in broad daylight,” he told Stuff following Sunday’s incident.

Bagai said the staff member on Sunday was “obviously shaken but safe”.

“(My) staff was excellent in following procedures and in activating a fog cannon. Robbers left with minimum.

“You can have shoppers and children in the station [in the morning]. Thankfully there were none at the time.

“They took some cash, [but] the harm was contained and was minimum because the fog canon was activated.”

Police said they located the vehicle used by the group, which was abandoned a short time later.

“Several offenders entered the premises and threatened an employee, who activated a fog cannon and then moved to a secure place,” police said.

“The employee was shaken but unharmed.

“Police are following lines of enquiry to locate the offenders.”

Extracted in full from:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/nz-news/350199460/service-station-employee-threatened-hammer-wielding-man-auckland-robbery