Burglary or Robbery?

Saddened to hear today of the dilemma the Pharmacist in West Auckland is now facing. It will be interesting to see how the Police investigation develops and what unfolds from their evidence. Clearly not a nice situation to be confronted with, but unfortunately in todays society something that I believe we have become used to and to a certain extent immune to. I cannot help but wonder and ask the question…”Could this have been avoided”? Albeit it’s early days but surely the answer has to be “yes”.

Now I am not in a position to project the outcome of this, nor do I wish too. I also don’t condone or condemn any of the parties involved…but I do know how most people respond when placed in a situation where their property or personal safety is in jeopardy. At the time of writing this there are numerous unanswered questions that I am confident the Police will find answers too…was it a burglary that escalated into a robbery?…was it a robbery that went tragically wrong?…time will provide the answers. What we do know though is there is one person dead, there is one person being questioned within the legal system, we have a business that is not trading, we have the loved ones of all involved parties affected by this tragedy and we have other business owners in the area scared to open their doors.

This is how crime impacts on our society…unfortunate as it is…this is reality in todays society.

I would like to plant the seed and offer the suggestion that we are all in a position to keep ourselves and our property safe through taking ownership, through being observant, through being aware of and selecting options that keep us safe and by being organised enough to wrap basic precautions around how we go about our daily lives.

I am not suggesting that the basic security requirements were lacking in this case…clearly having a security patrol response would indicate that there was some proactive steps in place…but again…I can’t help but still wonder “Could this have been avoided?”…and I still get the same answer….”yes I think it could have”.

2 thoughts on “Burglary or Robbery?

  1. Philip Patston

    This post made me wonder what is the difference between burglary and robbery; what factors would cause escalation; what do I need to do to take ownership, be observant, be aware of and select the right options? Next few posts? 😉

  2. Tony Lewis

    Hi Philip,

    Thanks for your feedback. You quite rightly raise a few points which we could spend hours debating and coming up with answers.

    In short Robbery is defined as ‘ theft accompanied by violence or at least the threat of violence ‘ where Burglary is defined as ‘entering to commit a crime therein’. This information and definitions sits within the Crimes Act 1961 for your future reference.

    Actions that can cause escalation particularly with robbery are actions that prevent the offender from achieving their objective. We must consider in a robbery the three things the offender wants are Control, Cash or Product and then to Escape. In order to enhance your safety and that of others during a robbery it is all about facilitating these objectives for the offender.

    However during a burglary if the offender is disturbed whilst in the act of burglary then this can escalte very quickly as we saw in this instance. Bungled burglaries have led to robbery, assault, rape,kidnap and even murder. You need to appreciate catching a burglar in the act can lead to an extremely dangerous situation if not handled correctly. The case we have witnessed had the potential to go very wrong for the pharmacy owner…you need to ask the question what was the offender looking for?…possibly as with most pahrmacy burglaries and robberies pre-cursor for methamphetamine manufacture…was he under the influence?….who knows…no doubt the post-mortem will prove that. If he was an extremely dangerous and desperate person to be confronted with.

    You have also asked how to take ownership, be observant, use the right options and to be organised to implement precautions. This is a huge subject…I would suggest attending my Safety and Awareness Seminar to gain this insight. However, it is a simple process as it comes down to basic options…the guidelines are:

    Are you confident and competent to undertake your chosen option?
    Is it the safest option?
    Do you have the ability to carry out your chosen option?
    Is your option legal?
    Is your option consistent with the expecations of your organisation?

    With this incident the owner was with a security officer. I am not in a postion to comment as to how thourough the search of the premise was, did they discover the break in point? was the alarm activating in multiple? why did the security officer leave before the premise was secured?…these are all questions I cannot answer as I am only going off what is public knowledge within the media…certainly I think though that these questions do require answering before a more informed opinion can be made.

    Thanks for your reply and I hope this answers your questions.




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