A man has been arrested after a BNZ Express branch in Queenstown was ram-raided on Friday night.
In a statement on Saturday, police said the ram-raid happened at around 11:45pm on Queenstown’s Camp Street.
Camp Street is one of the main streets in Queenstown’s CBD so many people were out and about watching the ram-raid unfold.
A TikTok video posted by the user @mnnxjot showed police running up to a vehicle outside the BNZ that is surrounded by people. Some could even be heard in the video cheering the driver of the car on, as he reversed into the bank.
As police approached the vehicle, the driver of the car then sped off down the street.
A witness told the NZ Herald he was drinking a beer nearby when he heard a loud bang and saw the car near the BNZ.
“That’s not normal so I took a video and I saw this car coming back and smashing back onto the ATM three times.
“[I’ve] never seen something like that in my life here in Queenstown,” the witness told the Herald.
A police spokesperson told Newshub the vehicle is believed to have reversed into the storefront “several times”. It left without anything being taken.
Police said they were able to find the vehicle and followed it along State Highway 6.
“The vehicle was successfully spiked south of Kingston and stopped soon after.”
The driver of the vehicle was arrested and is facing charges in relation to the ram-raid.
Police said enquiries are ongoing.
According to data obtained by RNZ, the number of ram raids has quadrupled in the last two years, with the majority of offenders being under 18 years old.
In 2022, there were 516 ram raids.
In May 2022, the Government announced it would invest $6 million into a police programme focused on small retail crime prevention.
The programme was created to help prevent ram raids by things like installing bollards or other protective structures.