Petrol station owner scares off crowd of youths with fog cannon

An Auckland petrol station owner and his wife successfully warded off what they say was a would-be burglary last night by setting off a fog cannon to deter the attackers.

Zahid Chaudhry was at work at the g.a.s petrol station in Swanson and was preparing to close the station when three cars carrying a large number of youths pulled up.

He believed there were about 10-15 boys in the cars, with about eight getting out and running towards the shop.

Chaudhry ran inside and closed the cage, while his wife pushed a panic button and another button for a fog cannon, released a stream of fog at the front door as the youths started to come inside.

“The boys got scared and they ran away,” Chaudhry said.

“We are not injured, nothing damaged in the shop.”

He said he was “100 per cent perfect, alright” after the near-attack, but had been worried at the time because his wife was present.

Chaudhry was injured in 2012 by a gun-wielding robber, who he ended up in a physical fight with.

“We had to fight each other, I got injured in many places because he started hitting with the gun on my face,” Chaudhry said of the incident.

A police spokeswoman today confirmed the latest incident, which happened just before 7pm yesterday.

“There’s no confirmed information on if any weapons were involved and the number of people. We are making inquiries into the incident,” she said.

The incident preceded an aggravated burglary in Albany, where a group of teenagers are alleged to have broken into Albany mall and stolen a “large amount” of jewellery from Goldmark and Michael Hill.

Eight people aged from 15 to 19 have appeared in court this morning charged over the mall incident, which happened about 2am today.

Police did not confirm whether the two incidents are believed to be linked.

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