The Matamata Vape Crew store was robbed this week as thieves stole thousands of dollars of vaping products, and caused a considerable amount of damage.
Vape Crew is one of New Zealand’s leading vape shops with eight stores nationally, selling top-quality devices and premier kiwi-made e-liquids.
This robbery took place just after midnight and was filmed by CCTV. The criminals were apprehended shortly after the burglary took place.
“No one got hurt, but the shop suffered a lot of damage. Thanks to our amazing staff who acted swiftly, the criminals were caught shortly after. To all other vape business owners, it is absolutely worth having good security in place”, says QJ Satchell, Managing Director.
Vaping businesses are being targeted by criminals and this is due to the newly introduced vaping regulations. With the upcoming cost increases introduced for vaping products, these items are beginning to have a high financial value and are already becoming attractive to criminals.
NZ consumers have been encouraged to have a say on the amendment to the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Bill which commenced on 11 November 2020. These submissions closed on 15 March 2021 and the final regulations will take effect in August 2021.
This bill seeks to address the health and accessibility concerns around vaping and smokeless tobacco products whilst acknowledging that these products are less harmful than smoking.
“Sensible regulations were requested, however the Government has come in far too strong. These regulations will wipe out most flavours, in turn creating higher costs and now it’s causing criminal behaviour. All this will be detrimental to the smoke free 2025 goal”, says Satchell.
The 1 NEWS team highlighted recent issues surrounding our stores becoming the target for thieves with tightening regulations. Check out the segment below.