A masked man armed with a knife confronted an elderly couple in their Levin home, before stealing their BMW and robbing a nearby dairy.
Police continue to look for the man, who fled through farmland after crashing the car through a fence.
Detective Sergeant Peter Vine said the couple were ''naturally distressed'' after their ordeal.
"Descriptions of the offender are being worked through with the victims but...it will take a bit of time to get some more details,'' he said.
''We're continuing to support the victims and have also offered them the services of Victim Support.''
At about 6.25pm last night a man wearing dark clothing and a balaclava forced his way into the Liverpool St home and confronted the elderly couple, Vine said.
''The offender was carrying a knife and made demands before taking a wallet, mobile phone, keys, and the residents' blue BMW vehicle.''
He then drove to the McArthur Street Dairy where he attempted to rob the owners before leaving in the vehicle.
The stolen BMW was soon spotted by police.
They signalled it to pull over, but the man sped off.
The offender was clocked driving at speeds of up to 160kmh.
Police chased the car until it was crashed through a fence and discarded by the offender in Opiki north of Shannon.
The offender ran off through farmland.
''We're appealing for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious around Liverpool and McArthur Streets or in the general area including State Highway 57 yesterday evening to early morning to contact police immediately,'' Vine said.
- The Dominion Post