In a shocking incident, a knife-wielding man attempted to rob the Michael Hill jewelry store, leading to the evacuation of Westfield Newmarket mall. This terrifying incident occurred on a Tuesday afternoon, sending shockwaves through the community.
Swift Employee Action
As the man entered the Michael Hill store at approximately 1:23 p.m., quick-thinking employees sprang into action by triggering an alarm and activating a fog cannon. This immediate response prompted the evacuation of the mall, ensuring the safety of all present.
Police Respond Swiftly
Authorities wasted no time in responding to the incident. Inspector Daniel Meade reported that the police arrived promptly on the scene, resulting in the arrest of one suspect. Importantly, Inspector Meade emphasized that there was no need to search for anyone else in connection with the incident.
An employee at Michael Hill described the incident as “scary” and noted that it was the first such attack during her time at the store. She informed her colleagues that they would be sent home for the day, and the store would remain closed.
Eyewitnesses Speak Out
Eyewitnesses at the scene shared their experiences. Anita Blackburn, who was at the opposite end of Westfield shopping center receiving a pedicure, noticed smoke that turned out to be fog cannon smoke, not fire. When the police escorted a man in his late 40s, dressed in a grey tracksuit and jandals, out of the mall, Blackburn was present. She mentioned that the entire incident unfolded swiftly, with authorities searching the individual before placing him in a police car. Blackburn expressed her concern for the Michael Hill employees she saw on her way out, noting that they appeared quite frightened and upset.
Commendable Employee Response
Inspector Meade commended the Michael Hill staff for their composed response throughout the incident, as they followed protocol to ensure no one was harmed.
Ensuring Community Safety
Despite such incidents impacting victims and communities, swift arrests like this serve as a reminder of the commitment to keeping neighborhoods safe. Michael Hill has taken significant steps to enhance security at all its locations nationwide, especially after a series of armed robberies and smash-and-grabs.
Enhanced Security Measures
Michael Hill’s commitment to security includes the use of advanced technology such as DNA spray, fog cannons, and alarm screamers in its 34 locations across the North Island. These measures aim to create a safe environment for both customers and employees.
In a statement, Daniel Bracken, CEO of Michael Hill, emphasized the importance of every New Zealander feeling safe when going to work or a store. The need to bolster security presence became evident due to recent incidents, leading to increased safety measures.
Michael Hill remains dedicated to ensuring the safety of its patrons and employees. While security measures have been enhanced, the impact of such incidents on victims and communities is not taken lightly. The recent arrest highlights the importance of swift police action in maintaining community safety.
As the investigation unfolds, the community awaits further updates on this incident. Stay tuned to PKB News for the latest developments.