They aren’t beggars, they are muggers

The Media party insists on calling thugs attacking people in the street beggars, they aren’t.

A west Auckland man is warning his community not to give money to young teens begging after he was attacked by members of a group on Monday at Royal Heights shopping centre.

Warren, a Massey local whose last name has been kept anonymous, was abused and had his car door kicked in after trying to take a photo of the begging operation. The leader even threatened to kill him.

“This whole setup was run virtually like Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, with the Fagan character – that’s how this operation seems to run.”

He was waiting for his wife who was at the doctor when he saw the group working. They were all Caucasian in appearance, and arrived in a white Toyota van, he says.

“They all turn up in a van, and the driver and passenger stay in the van. The side door opens and they all get out and disperse through the shopping centre.

“It’s a dirty scheme. They almost hassle you for money.”

There is no almost about it. They are actually mugging you.

He says a teenage boy asked him for cash. “He said how his mother was in hospital and he was desperate to get some money, and he threw his hands around and showed all the anguish under the sun – brilliant actors.

“If these kids joined the theatre company they’d be successful. That’s how clever they are. In the end I said ‘no’ and he walked away.”

Warren then saw the boy with a teenage girl near an ATM at the shops, and when someone gave them money he saw what looked like the group’s leader come out of the van and approach the teens.

“My impression was he was coming out, taking the money and sending them out to get some more.”

Warren reported what he saw to the police, and he and his wife left the shops. As they were leaving, he tried to take a photo of the van, but the group’s leader saw him.

“This Fagan guy got extremely agitated – ‘You don’t take any [expletive] photos of me…’ – all the language under the sun came out.

“He came over to the car and reached his hand inside the car to try get the phone from me, then he kicked the door in, and mouthed off all the language under the sun and told me he was going to kill me.”

He’s the gang boss, and also the enforcer.

Another woman soon intervened when she recognised the van after having just given $10 of petrol to them at the nearby Mobil.

“She abused the living hell out of this guy for kicking the car in… She said ‘I come up here and I see you scumbags scheming and thieving and trying to get money off everybody else.’ She was so irate she rang the police too and reported them.”

After Warren’s daughter posted about the ordeal on social media, others in the west Auckland community have shared similar experiences with the same group of beggars in places like Swanson.

“One woman replied that’s why she is so scared to go shopping up at Countdown now,” Warren says.

“This is why I say if only we could get it out there to people, to understand these kids don’t deserve to be given money.”

These ratbags aren’t beggars they are criminals. The Media party needs to stop calling them beggars, as that gives them some sort of pity legitimacy. Plain and simple they are street thugs shaking down people for cash.




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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.