Hamilton police say they are surprised at the futility of robbers targetting service stations and dairies for small amounts of cash.
Two aggravated robberies in Hamilton last night saw the robbers getting away with meagre amounts of cash - in one robbery only around $100 was taken.
Detective Sergeant Mark Greene of Hamilton CIB says police are surprised at the number of "futile" robberies, where only small sums of money are taken.
"In almost every instance, it is hardly worth the trouble. These robbers may not realise that they will be facing a jail term of up to 14 years. Is $100 really worth 10 years in jail?"
At 12.09am a man used a hammer to smash a window at the Avalon Drive Mobil service station. He produced a knife and demanded that the lone male attendant let him in.
Once inside, he locked the attendant in a toilet and two other robbers came in. The robber then let the attendant out of the toilet and made him unlock a door. The attendant was then thrown on the ground and a wheelie bin was thrown on top of him. The robbers left with just over $100 in cash and a few packets of cigarettes.
While police were attending that robbery, a man presented a rifle at the lone male attendant at the Shell Eastside service station on the corner of Naylor and Grey Sts.
The attendant was given a pillowcase and told to fill it with cash. The robber left with a small amount of cash from the till.
Police are hoping someone may have seen the robbers near the service stations or at the time of the robberies.
In the Mobil Avalon Drive robbery, the offender is described as a male Maori, wearing black pants, a black shirt and a bandanna. In the Shell Eastside robbery, the offender is described as a male Caucasian in his early 20s, about 1.7m tall and of thin build. He was wearing a grey hooded top and grey track pants.
In both robberies, the attendants were not physically hurt.
Mr Greene said aggravated robberies were no longer the lucrative source of cash they once were. Robbers should consider the lengthy jail sentence before they commit a crime that will reap little reward.
"Businesses these days do not keep a lot of money on their premises. Non-cash transactions are now the norm, where people are paying with Eftpos and credit cards. There just isn't a lot of money to be had these days in robberies."
Mr Greene said detectives would today be examining security camera footage from both service stations in a bid to identify the robbers.
Anyone with any information about either robbery should contact Mr Greene at Hamilton Central police, phone 07 8586200.