An armed robber held a knife to the throat of a female convenience store employee in Christchurch before fleeing with tobacco and cash.
Police said the man, disguised with a balaclava and gloves, went behind the counter of the Wairakei Discount Dairy on Wairakei Rd about 6.10pm and threatened the employee.
He then fled with tobacco and cash through the nearby Wairakei School grounds.
The woman was not injured.
Police dogs were unable to find the offender, described as being about 175cm (5ft, 9in) tall and of average build.
He was reported to be wearing dark clothing and carrying a light-coloured backpack at the time of the incident.
Detective Sergeant Al Lester said police wanted to hear from anyone who might have information about the robbery or who might have witnessed the offender running off.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Brad Greenstreet on 03 3637482, or can provide information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Press