Smash and grab at Smith & Caughey’s central Auckland department store at night

Auckland’s Smith & Caughey’s department store was robbed overnight with thieves smashing windows along Queen Street on Sunday evening.

The Central Auckland branch is Auckland’s best-known department store and its Christmas window displays are popular with families.

The windows on the north Queen Street side of the store are boarded up.

Nathan Morton / Stuff

The windows on the north Queen Street side of the store are boarded up.

Windows and smashed clothes are now strewn across the Queen Street-facing side of the store after thieves struck it around 11pm on Sunday night.

Initial police reports said burglars raided the store to gain access, but police later said a car was not used to crash into the store.

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The windows on the north Queen Street side of the store are boarded up.

A number of people entered the store, carrying a range of items before fleeing in three separate vehicles.

Two cars used in the robbery were later found in Freemans Bay. A police spokesman said an investigation was ongoing.

Glass and clothes on the department store floor.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

Glass and clothes on the department store floor.

“A number of offenders entered the store and took a range of items before arriving at the scene in three vehicles. Two vehicles were identified as being involved in the incident and were found abandoned in Napier St, Freemans Bay.

“The investigation to identify those involved is ongoing, which includes reviewing CCTV footage and speaking with witnesses.”

Smith & Caughey staff began cleaning Monday morning.

Jason Dorday / Stuff

Smith & Caughey staff began cleaning Monday morning.

Aucklanders walking past the store stopped to look and take photos of the damage. One resident said: ‘Queen St just won’t recover at this rate, with the current level of crime.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police on 105, quoting case number 220613/2895.

A Lift bottle at the store next to a Lacoste shoe.

Chris McKeen / Stuff

A Lift bottle at the store next to a Lacoste shoe.

Around the same time as the robbery on Queen St, a retail store in West Auckland was broken into by thieves.

Police received reports of an ongoing raid to enter a shop on Sabulite Rd, Kelston at around 11.20pm.

The criminals were interrupted during their descent and left the scene in a second car, without taking anything from the store.