Raglan not a ‘safe’ place to live

Satinderpal Sidhu is feeling scared and disillusioned following a brazen attack on him while he was working at Thirsty Liquor on Sunday night.

“I was not expecting these things to happen in Raglan,” said Sid, who was punched about three times in the head and knocked to the ground while behind the counter. Four men stormed the shop at about 9.15pm and made off with alcohol.

“Raglan is very safe, I thought.”

Sid, who has worked in the Thirsty Liquor since it opened about a year ago, said he recognised two local young men – one of them has been a customer – on CCTV footage relating to the incident.

He has handed the footage over to Raglan police.

The footage shows a group of young men dressed in hoodies and red caps loitering outside the Thirsty Liquor for about 20 minutes. There is a lot of handshaking, backslapping and hugging going on, and one of the men even turns to the CCTV camera to wave.

There were about eight young men altogether, aged about 19 or 20, said Sid.

“Two cars were there; from one car (a van), six boys came out.”

At about 9pm, the group left in their vehicles, but the van returned about 20 minutes later and parked across the road.

“Three of them came into the shop while one waited outside. One of the boys came in and started punching me, I was sitting in the chair, and the other boys started grabbing things off the shelf.”

It was all over in 30 seconds.

“I tried to catch one of them from the back (of his shirt) but he got away because I was still on the ground.

“It was scary, a lot of blood was coming from my nose.”

The man who punched Sid in the head is easily recognisable on the CCTV footage but the two other men who entered the building are wearing hoodies – one of them has a long black handkerchief tied around his face.

“They didn’t say anything, just did their job.”

Sid, who was back at work the next day, said he no longer felt that Raglan was a safe place to live. “Actually, I feel really scared.”

Extra staff will be on at nights in the shop, now, and Sid has a baseball bat that he said he would use to defend himself.

The offenders made their move when Sid’s co-worker, a woman, had left the shop.

Sid said he could tell the group had been planning something because of their suspicious behaviour and gestures.

A 111 call was made at about 9.20pm, after the attack, but the police did not attend the scene until the next morning.

“They took too long. We close at 10pm; we waited for over half an hour.

“They rang me about 10.15pm and said are you okay, we will come in the morning.”

Sid said the police recognised two of the men who had been standing outside on the footpath prior to the attack, and those men had been asked the identity of the four who were later involved in the attack and theft.

“They said they can’t recognise anyone and they are all standing there and shaking hands.”

Raglan constable Raewyn McLachlan said police had some leads “so are certainly following up on those leads”.

“We need to identify the four people involved in the attack.”

She said the attack was a “horrendous” act and unnecessary, but, yes, this was what Raglan was becoming.

“People think that Raglan is some idyllic spot where nothing goes wrong. It has its fair share of crime.”

Last month, the All Style Tattoo shop, Wainui Rd Superette and the Herbal Dispensary were broken into at night. In late August, Black Sands, Roll Up, Orca and Raglan Bakery were broken into. CCTV footage also showed hooded offenders.

Raewyn said the Thirsty Liquor had told police they didn’t want attendance on Sunday night. Raglan’s police officers were on call, she said.

“We would have gone if directed to. The shop was closing and they requested attendance the next day when they opened.”

Inger Vos