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Courageous bar patrons foil robbery attempt

Courageous bar patrons foil robbery attempt

Two men will appear in court today thanks to the courageous act of patrons who intervened in attempts to rob a bar.

At approximately 9.50pm (Wednesday, 5 December) a man went into the Kope Turf Bar, Whakatane, approached the bar and demanded cash from a female staff member.

Several patrons realised what was happening and intervened, grabbing the offender. As he tried to get away a second man had come into the bar and presented a firearm. He too was overcome by patrons.

One of the men managed to flee the bar but was identified by police who arrested him early this morning at an address in Whakatane. A second man was arrested at the bar. A firearm was also recovered inside the bar. Minor injuries were suffered by both the men and at least one patron during the struggle.

Area Commander for Eastern Bay of Plenty Inspector Sandra Venables said: "We would firmly discourage members of the public from putting themselves at risk by tackling offenders, particularly when they are armed, but that doesn't take away from the fact that these patrons were incredibly courageous and they should be proud that they stood up for their community."

Two 23-year-old Whakatane men will appear at Whakatane District Court later today charged with assault with intent to rob.

As the matter is before the court there will be no further police comment.
ends

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