Christchurch barbershop with links to international bike gang the Mongols MC has been set alight for the second time in less than two weeks.
Emergency services were called to the fire at Bristol Barbers on Wainoni Rd about 10pm on Sunday.
A vehicle was also driven through the front of the shop, a police spokeswoman said.
On Monday morning two armed police officers stood guard outside the wrecked barbershop. An investigation into what caused the fire will resume on Monday, the spokeswoman said.
The shop was set alight for the first time about 3.30am on February 14. About 45 minutes later, a stolen ute smashed into King of Ink in Linwood.
A nearby resident who declined to be named said she and her husband were in bed when the “house shook”.
“It was just like a big shake, the house shook and then the noise – I thought it was an earthquake – so I jumped out of bed and my husband yelled out.”
They opened the front door but couldn’t see anything so went back inside.
“The next thing there was another bang like an explosion,” the woman said.
“My husband went back outside and there was smoke coming out from next door and I just rang police because I remembered what happened last time.”
Emergency services arrived shortly after.
She said having two incidents in such a short time frame was “scary”.
“My husband said I think we should move from this area, but I like it here.
“I don’t know what’s going with what that place next door though.”
Stuff earlier reported the Mongols MC, involved in a recent North Island shooting, appeared to have expanded into the South Island after senior members, including national president Jim Thacker, travelled to Christchurch and started a new chapter of the gang.
Sources told Stuff the gang had recently established a clubhouse on Main South Rd at The Old Sawmill in Burnham, opposite the Burnham Military Camp.
A patched member of the gang earlier told Stuff the barbershop was “sort of” connected to the gang.
“We haven’t caused any trouble, it’s just people not wanting us around … we’re new to town,” he said.
“We’re not going out to go get some revenge or anything like that because that’s just what everyone expects. That’s just stupid, we’d rather just keep our family safe and move on with life, and start our businesses and be happy and ride motorbikes.”
Canterbury district commander Superintendent John Price said earlier he was aware some gang members in Christchurch had recently patched over to the Mongols, which had created unrest within the underworld.
Gangs were not welcome in the city and police were watching them “overtly and covertly”, he said.
WHO ARE THE MONGOLS?
The Mongols, whose patch depicts Genghis Khan on a motorcycle, was founded in the United States 50 years ago and describes itself as the “baddest and fastest growing club in the world”.
The first New Zealand chapter of the gang was set up in the Bay of Plenty last year.
Thacker, 28, a former president of a Bandidos chapter in Queensland, is among hundreds of hardened criminals, known as 501s, deported to New Zealand since 2014 changes to Australian immigration law.
The arrival of the 501s, named after the character section their visas were cancelled under, has radically changed New Zealand’s gang landscape.
New groups, most notably the Comanchero MC and Mongols, have established and, according to police data, gang membership increased nearly 50 per cent in the four years to June last year.
At the end of August, the national gang register carried the names of 71 of the 501s.
In recent times, the Christchurch gang scene has been dominated by the King Cobras, Tribesmen and Mongrel Mob.