Armed robbers targeted two dairy stores owned by business people of Indian descent this week in New Zealand, about a month after a businessman of Indian descent was killed in a related crime.
Ajit Patel, the owner of a dairy on Melrose Road, reported that five masked men with baseball bats momentarily entered his store early on Monday. Attempts by the men to steal the till, according to Patel, were unsuccessful.
According to a police spokeswoman, in a separate incident, a group of individuals ram-raided Sandra Dairy on Marua Road in Ellerslie and stole a number of products before escaping in a second vehicle.
The two stores were among six that were attacked earlier this week by robbers in the Auckland and Waikato regions. India-based businesses have been the target of many of the country’s rising incidences of violence and criminality against small business owners.
Four men broke into Hamilton dairy owner Puneet Singh’s business last Saturday and used a machete to sever two of his fingers. Singh is of Indian descent. After the death of Janak Patel, an Indian-born dairy shop worker, in Sandringham last month, there were nationwide protests.
Following the murder, the New Zealand government unveiled further initiatives to fight retail crime, including a subsidy programme for fog cannons that is available to all small retailers and dairies.
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