Police investigating the weekend aggravated robberies of licensed premises in Christchurch have arrested two people.
Late yesterday afternoon Police including the armed offenders squad executed a search warrant at a Worcester Street address, and a second at a Kilmore Street address in the early evening.
A male and a female sought in connection with the robberies were located after a vehicle was stopped not far from the Kilmore Street address.
Both will appear in court this morning. A 24-year old Christchurch man will face charges of aggravated robbery, assault with intent to injure, receiving property and drugs-related offences.
A 25-year old Christchurch woman will face charges of receiving stolen property.
Detective Inspector Virginia Le Bas says the initial charges relate to the robberies of The Brewery in Woolston, and Coasters Tavern, Redwood, on Sunday night.
Additional charges are likely, and Police are continuing enquiries to link these offences to aggravated robberies at licensed premises in Riccarton and Merivale prior to Christmas.
Detective Inspector Le Bas says Police believe there may still be other offenders connected to the string of robberies, and are appealing for information from the public.
"A team of investigators is continuing to work on these cases," she says. "A scene examination is under way today at the Kilmore Street address.
"One of the features of these offences is that the offenders have had access to significant amounts of cash, and are likely to have been spending it.
"That sort of behaviour is very noticeable - and we are asking people to be on the lookout for individuals who seem to have suddenly come into possession of large sums of cash.
"We are interested in any information that members of the public may have about these incidents or people connected with them."
Detective Inspector Le Bas says Police are also working with the victims of the robberies. She confirmed that a male patron at The Brewery was injured after being struck in the head by one of the offenders during Sunday night's incident. The man's injuries were not serious and he was treated at hospital and discharged.
"The fact that someone was injured has heightened the seriousness of these incidents.
"We are providing support to the victims and the affected premises. These types of events can be extremely traumatising for those caught up in them.
"Fortunately in these cases the staff and patrons have done the right thing by complying with the offenders' demands."
Police are also providing advice to the wider hospitality industry around crime prevention and security, in the wake of the latest robberies.
"We are encouraging licensed premises to take extra care with security around closing times, to ensure they have offsite storage for CCTV footage, and that money is removed from the premises at regular intervals."
Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to contact Christchurch police on (03) 3637400.
Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.