2 Feb 2009

Man in court after attempted supermarket hold-up

3:29 pm on 2 February 2009

A man will appear in Manukau District Court on Monday after he was stopped by members of the public while allegedly trying to hold up a South Auckland supermarket.

The man, 24, is charged with aggravated robbery and police say he may face more serious charges.

Police say the man pointed a sawn-off rifle at a cashier, demanding money and cigarettes at a branch of New World in Clendon at 10.20am.

Police officers arrived within three minutes, but three men had already tackled and restrained him.

Police say they don't encourage the public to take direct action, but are thanking the people who did.

A Radio New Zealand reporter spoke to several shop owners and store workers in the area, and they say they're concerned about security.

But Manukau City mayor Len Brown says things have improved markedly, following a major upgrade of the shopping centre.

He says the community and the council have been working to foster pride in the area and improve its image.

Mr Brown says the actions of the three supermarket customers who tackled the man, prove South Aucklanders are no longer willing to tolerate crime.

He says he's impressed with the stand taken by members of the public.

But Mr Brown says you do have to be wary, particularly if weapons are involved, but there is a strong spirit in the community and people want to look after their own.

He says people should call the police first when they see a crime being committed.