Shotgun robbery of Merivale TAB admitted

November 6, 2014 | By More

Court House-Sept-2013-05A 20-year-old painter has admitted the armed robbery of a TAB in Merivale in September that had customers calling out in alarm and scrambling for cover.

Joel Alex Pedersen pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated robbery, unlawfully taking a car, unlawful possession of a firearm, and two charges of dishonestly using a document, in the Christchurch District Court today.

Four other charges of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of ammunition, being intoxicated in charge of a firearm, and possession of instruments for consuming cannabis were withdrawn by the police.

Police said Pedersen and an associate broke into a car and drove it away from College Avenue in Papanui on September 4.

They pulled up outside the Merivale TAB where Pedersen pulled a ski mask over his face and carried a sawn-off 12-gauge shotgun and black shoulder bag into the store.

Customers saw him and called out in alarm, and tried to take cover.

Pedersen jumped over the counter and demanded money. He forced a staff member into an office area to try to gain access to two safes but she couldn’t get them open.

He opened the till draw at the front counter and removed cash, while a staff member opened a second till and gave him the money from it. He climbed back over the counter with $1842 and left the store.

A staff member suffered a sprained left knee from being forced to kneel in front of the safes.

The next night Pedersen was at the Sandridge Hotel and told patrons he had a sawn off shotgun in his bag. He showed it to some people in the car park, and later as he walked along Colombo Street he got it out and loaded it. He got into a taxi with two others before it was stopped by police on Moorhouse Ave. It was the same one used in the TAB robbery.

Earlier in August Pedersen ageed to paint a house in Hamilton.

On the second day he offered to buy wine for the owner as she had limited mobility. She gave him her eftpos card and pin number and he bought the wine.

Next day he offered to get more wine but bought himself cigarettes, and withdrew $1700 from the ATM at the Westpac bank.

He did not return the card, and the householder cancelled it before he could use it again.

Judge Brian Callaghan remanded Pedersen in custody to a Crown sentencing session on December 18.

Category: News

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