New Plymouth dairy owner fears for his life after second heist in nine days

Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin was reduced to tears as she spoke of the ordeal.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin was reduced to tears as she spoke of the ordeal.

A New Plymouth dairy owner fears for her life after an armed robber threatened her with a machete – nine days after he stole goods worth $ 400.

At 5:55 p.m. on Monday, two young men, one holding the large knife, entered the Tui dairy on Mangorei Rd.

Tui Dairy of New Plymouth was broken into on Monday evening, just nine days after being targeted by shoplifters.

SIMON O’CONNOR / Tips

Tui Dairy of New Plymouth was broken into on Monday evening, just nine days after being targeted by shoplifters.

“They were shouting, ‘Open the register, open the register, give us the money,” said store owner Jennifer Lin.

A red wooden stand in front of the counter bore slash marks, where Lin said the machete had repeated contact.

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Lin immediately recognized one of the youths during a shoplifting incident on September 25, when an offended man ran in and stole up to $ 400 worth of ice cream before fleeing to a Mazda stolen.

“He was wearing the same clothes,” she said.

“They are so mean.”

Lin said that a machete cut a rack at the counter.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Lin said that a machete cut a rack at the counter.

The duo fled with money, tobacco and cigarettes on Monday’s robbery, but Lin has yet to calculate the income she lost.

Lin, owner of the dairy for 14 years, was reduced to tears as she described her ordeal.

It was not the first time that the dairy was targeted.

In 2011, two men threatened her and her son Tom with a knife and stole more than $ 500 worth of cigarettes.

They had suffered four other thefts before that, she said.

In 2018, Santana Maree Venice Capri Robertson-Fitzgibbon, who was 18 and 14 weeks pregnant at the time, pushed Lin twice before stealing $ 295 from the cash register.

“The same thing has happened many times, but this one is really bad,” Lin said.

“My family asked me to leave the company.

“I’m afraid for my life.

Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin admitted one of the shoplifters nine days earlier.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

Tui Dairy owner Jennifer Lin admitted one of the shoplifters nine days earlier.

But she said the store is all she has.

“I am the first generation from overseas. I don’t have a New Zealand education so I can’t find another job.

Chinese Taranaki Association President Betty Leung said it was common for members of the Chinese community to run their own small store, like a dairy.

“Most of these people are from China and their English is not very good,” she said.

Leung was aware of another woman who had been turned down for jobs just because she was Asian.

“If they can’t find a job, the best thing to do is run a store and run a business on their own. It is the only way for them to have a job.

It was not the first time that Lin's dairy had been targeted.

VANESSA LAURIE / Tips

It was not the first time that Lin’s dairy had been targeted.

Leung asked the police if Lin was able to keep a baton under the counter, but she was told not to take justice on her own.

A police media spokesperson confirmed they were called to Tui Dairy on Mangorei Rd around 5:51 p.m. on Monday.

They arrived at the scene at 5:55 p.m.

“Two people reportedly entered the dairy and threatened a member of staff,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The offenders then fled in a vehicle, which was later found abandoned near the East End Skate Park.

“The investigation into the matter is ongoing,” said the spokesperson.

Police did not disclose the make of the abandoned vehicle.

New Plymouth has seen a series of Mazda thefts in recent months.

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