Men arrested after masked armed robbery

Police have arrested two men in relation to the aggravated robbery of Liquorland in Masterton yesterday afternoon.

At about 3.30pm two masked men entered the Liquorland at the junction of Michael Street and Chapel Street.

One of the men pointed a pistol at the staff while the second man took the till drawer from behind the counter.

"Both men were heavily disguised wearing hoods and masks," says police.

"They fled the store onto Michael Street before getting into a white Toyota Corolla and driving off along Michael Street towards Pownall Street.

"Police immediately attended, conducted a detailed examination of the scene and provided support to the staff who were very traumatised by this robbery."

Police worked into the night and early this morning following up several leads in an attempt to locate and detain those responsible.

This morning Wairarapa Police staff spotted two suspects driving a white Holden in Masterton and signalled for them to stop.

"The vehicle responded by driving off dangerously through residential streets before Police called off the pursuit to protect other road users.

"An immediate search of the Solway area in the vicinity of Fleet Street located the pursued vehicle, which was empty."

Armed Police and a local police dog unit surrounded the area in an attempt to flush out the suspects.

At 11am this morning the two men were located and arrested without incident.

Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth says any crime where a person is threatened by violence is a significant and traumatic event, and some people are affected for life by an experience of this nature.

To add a firearm into the mix creates a whole new level of trauma and we will do everything in our power to bring these and any other offenders to justice.

“The protection of the community is at the forefront of everything we do.

" We are committed to preserving safe communities and will work tirelessly to reach this goal.

“A concentrated effort and swift action by Police coupled with help from the public has enabled us to bring two suspects into custody, and not only make our town a safer place, but also reassure staff at Liquorland that these men will not be returning any time soon," he says.

Two men, aged 19 and 36, from Masterton have been charged with aggravated robbery.

They are also facing charges relating to disqualified and dangerous driving, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a taser.

They are appearing in Masterton District Court tomorrow.

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