From the Dominion Post 27th December 2006
A man who committed nine robberies using a shotgun - including one in which a store owner was kidnapped from his home - has been jailed for 12 years. Alexander Robert Coe, 24, a blocklayer, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty in Wellington District Court to nine charges of aggravated robbery and one of kidnapping. Between March and May, Coe and two others held up service stations and dairies around the North Island, stealing cash and cigarettes. In April, the trio kidnapped the owner of a West Auckland store from his home. They forced the man to open the store and then stole $27,945 worth of property and cash. They also held up an Island Bay dairy on May 7, taking $400 in cash.
The next evening a staff member at the Kelburn New World store was bashed in the head with a softball bat during a robbery in which $2000 was taken. The trio also robbed service stations in Auckland, Rotorua and Palmerston North, as well as a takeaway shop in Tauranga. Altogether they stole cash and goods worth more than $45,000. Judge Mike Behrens, QC, said Coe was the oldest of the three, carried a shotgun and gave the orders. He had to be considered the principal offender. Though no shots were fired and there was only one case of violence, all the victims had been extremely traumatised by the crimes. Judge Behrens said Coe had been jailed in Australia when he was 16.
When he came back to New Zealand in 2001 he had 53 convictions. Soon after his return he was jailed for burglary. He had further convictions for burglary and assault. Co-offender Aratena Moke, 17, had been jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to four charges. Judge Behrens said Coe had to take responsibility for leading-on Moke. Defence lawyer Val Nisbet said Coe had been abandoned at any early age and had spent most of his life in institutions. "The tragedy is that Mr Coe's beginnings were a tragedy and his life has been one ever since." Judge Behrens imposed a non-parole period of seven years, deducting two years from a starting point of 14 years after taking into account Coe's guilty pleas. "The time has come for society to be protected from this sort of offending," he said.
From the Dominion Post 10 May 2006
Three Aucklanders who police allege travelled the North Island on a business-robbing road trip will appear in Wellington District Court today. Detective Sergeant Dave Thornton said a 20-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man had been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery after incidents in Wellington.
Police say a man wearing a black balaclava and gloves robbed the Island Bay Dairy at gunpoint on Sunday at about 7pm, stealing $400. He pointed a gun at the shop assistant's head before demanding cash from the till and making off with about $400. The pair and a 17-year-old Auckland man have also been charged with the aggravated robbery of the Kelburn Four Square store on Monday. The trio are alleged to have tied up the staff after striking one on the head with a baseball bat, then stealing about $2000 cash and cigarettes, police said.
Police located the trio in Porirua, north of Wellington, yesterday after their vehicle was involved in a minor incident. The 1994 Toyota Corolla had been reported stolen in Auckland and the trio had driven down the North Island, staying in hotels and motels. In the car police found cash, cigarettes and a large amount of clothing which police said appeared to have been bought with money from the robberies.
A firearm believed to have been used in both robberies was also found, along with a balaclava and a mask. Mr Thornton said the group had also been investigated for several other aggravated robberies that occurred in the upper North Island in the past week.
From the Dominion Post 11 May 2006
Three Aucklanders suspected of committing a series of aggravated robberies in the North Island in the past week are in police custody after an altercation with gang members in Porirua. Lisa Dowling, 20, and Alexander Coe, 24, appeared in Wellington District Court yesterday charged with the aggravated robbery of an Island Bay dairy on Sunday. About $400 was taken at gunpoint.
With Aratena Moke, 17, they are also accused of robbing the Kelburn Four Square store on Monday night. A staff member needed hospital care after being bashed in the head during the robbery, in which about $2000 in cash and cigarettes was taken, police said. The trio were remanded in custody till their next court appearance on Friday. Detective Sergeant Dave Thornton said they had been arrested in Porirua on Tuesday after an altercation with gang members.
The three Aucklanders had been in a stolen car wanted in connection with the Island Bay robbery, he said. Police had found a firearm, a balaclava and a mask. "Property stolen in the robberies, including cash and cigarettes, has also been located, along with a large amount of other property." The trio was also being investigated over other aggravated robberies in the upper North Island in the past week. "It's likely further charges may be laid." They had stayed in hotels, motels and camping grounds on their way down the North Island
Date of Birth
Numerous armed robberies and a kidnapping in Auckland, Rotorua, Palmerston and Tauranga between March and May 2006
Also armed robbery of a Four Square in Kelburn, Wellington and a dairy in Island Bay in May 2006
Three Strikes Status
Sentenced to nine years in November 2006
Reduced on appeal to eight years in March 2007
Eligible for parole January 2009
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OFFENCES / CONVICTIONS
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