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Businessman bound with duct tape, left bloodied and bruised in St Heliers home invasion

An Auckland businessman says he was bound with duct tape and “belted” in the face during a violent home invasion which left him bloodied and bruised.

The man, who wanted to be identified only as “John” for safety reasons, has lived in the affluent Auckland suburb of St Heliers for 45 years and had never experienced a crime like it.

John had concerns about his name being published as the group who robbed and assaulted him had not been caught.

The lead-up to the aggressive robbery began in the early hours of Monday morning, when John – who was home alone as his wife was on holiday – woke up to an “odd noise”.

When John got up out of bed to investigate, he found a man crouching behind his bathroom door.

John described the home intruder as an “insignificant fellow” who told him he was “just looking for a mate”.

“I checked he didn’t have anything in the bag he was carrying, and kicked him out,” John said.

John realised once the intruder had gone, that a little loop of keys were missing, including the remote control that opened his garage door.

“I was woken by four guys, they were all masked up with balaclavas, gloves and everything, you could only see their eyes,” he said.

The group demanded the combination for a safe, which John had assumed had been scoped out by the man he’d kicked out the night before.

”They belted me in the eye when I wouldn’t give them the combination, and one of the guys had a crowbar,” John said.

“He held it above my face and said he’d smash my face in if I didn’t tell them.”

John has lived in the Auckland suburb of Saint Heliers of decades, and has not ever experienced a crime like he did on Tuesday.

John eventually provided the combination and said it took several minutes for the group to enter it correctly, resulting in them “fuming and carrying on”.

The group tied John’s wrists with duct tape and threw him on the bed while they stripped the house of “everything of value”, including his wallet, he said.

“They knew what they were doing,” John said.

“They took everything out of the safe, took all of my wife’s jewellery, took my cellphone.”

John said he had so much adrenaline pumping through his body during the robbery that it wasn’t until he saw blood on his bed that he realised he’d been hurt.

“I have a big black eye and my ear was bleeding pretty badly,” he said.

Police are investigating the robbery, but arrests are yet to be made.

He called 111 on a spare phone as soon as the group had left, while his hands were still bound with duct tape.

Police confirmed the robbery to Stuff, saying they’d received a report of four people entering John’s property at 4:30am on Tuesday.

“They have assaulted the victim before taking a number of items, including cash,” a police spokesperson said.

No arrests had been made at the time of publishing. Police have not responded to a request for an update on the investigation.


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