Men armed with hammers rob Michael Hill store at Auckland’s NorthWest Shopping Centre

Shoppers and staff at a busy Auckland shopping mall watched in horror as two men armed with hammers robbed a jewellery store, smashing their way into display cases.

The smash and grab robbery at Michael Hill Jewellers at NorthWest Shopping Centre happened at 9.40am today.

The thieves smashed glass display counters and stole an unknown amount of jewellery before fleeing the mall.

A shopped in the mall at the same time as the robbery said he was feeling “a bit shaky” after witnessing the smash and grab.

Riverhead resident Hayden Pellett said he saw the two men, dressed in all black and with face coverings on, approach the Michael Hill store shortly after 9.30am.

“I saw the hammers in their hands and it really sunk in what was happening.”

Pellett said he took out his phone to try and film the incident for evidence, but the recording didn’t work.

“I locked eyes with one of the guys as he was smashing the cabinet and felt a bit worried, but it was really quick, they got out of there and didn’t threaten anyone.”

One witness said there was no sign of security guards when the men rushed into the store and “smashed, grabbed and dashed”.

“It was fast, it seems they had a getaway vehicle waiting for them.

“I reckon they got away with a fair bit of stuff from the scene.”

Allure Beauty Salon worker Baljeet Kaur said she saw two men whose faces were covered run in armed with hammers.

“They were big guys,” she said.

“It was very scary, they ran in and smashed the boxes, it’s where the expensive stuff goes.

“My heart is still beating fast, it’s scary, and the first time in my life I’ve seen this.”

A police spokesman said police are at the scene and making follow-up inquiries to identify and locate the offenders.

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