Two teenagers have been arrested over the attempted robbery of a service station in Waihi and aggravated robbery of a dairy in Katikati on Monday last week, the same day a Paeroa pizza shop owner was found murdered.
A 19-year-old man from Rotorua was arrested on Monday. He appeared in Rotorua District Court on two charges of assault with intent to rob and is due to reappear next Monday.
Yesterday, a 17-year-old man from Mangakino was arrested and also charged with two counts of assault with intent to rob. He has been remanded in custody until July 17.
Bay of Plenty police say both cases initially had blanket suppression to protect the ongoing police operation. That interim suppression has today been lifted and the fact that arrests have been made can now be reported.
The police say they are continuing to liaise with colleagues in Waikato investigating the death of Jordan Voudouris but are keen to reiterate that is still not possible at this stage to confirm or discount a link between the robberies and the death.
"It is vital that these arrests do not deter people with information about the death of Mr Voudouris from contacting the investigation team at Paeroa Police Station," said Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner of Tauranga police.
"We have to continue treating the incidents as separate investigations unless the time comes when the evidence tells us there is a definitive link."
The robberies remain just one of a number of considerations for the homicide team, Turner said.
Likewise police still want to hear from anyone with information about the robberies and those responsible, he said, adding that at least one offender is still outstanding.
Voudouris was found in a pool of blood near his business, Mykonos Pizza and Pasta takeaways, about 6am on Monday last week.
A public service for the 55-year-old was held today at the Paeroa War Memorial Hall.
Two local men have been arrested for vandalising memorials left at the victim's shop.
The pair, aged 38 and 42, have been charged with wilful damage and theft and are expected to appear in Waihi District Court on July 3.
Anyone with information relevant to the Waihi and Katikati robberies is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300.
Anyone with information about the death of Voudouris is asked to contact Paeroa Police Station on 07 862 8744. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.