Armed police are still looking for a man who held up the Ngamotu Road Dairy in New Plymouth at gunpoint today.
The offender, who was described as a short, light-skinned male of medium build and dressed in blue overalls and wearing a black balaclava, entered the shop brandishing a handgun about 11.30am.
Police believe the man approached and left the dairy from the direction of Onuku Taipari Domain and would have been seen by people in the area.
A police dog handler and the armed offenders squad were quickly on the scene but were unable to locate the offender.
Detective Sergeant Gerard Bouterey said the offender presented the firearm at the shop owner and demanded tobacco.
"He was brandishing what appears to be a revolver-type pistol," Bouterey said.
"He was very calm throughout but has threatened him [the shop owner] not to call police."
The ordeal had left the shop owner "pretty upset".
Bouterey said the owner followed the offender out the door, but he had disappeared quickly.
"He has obviously gone right down into the domain."
Bouterey believed the offender would have been spotted.
"Any number of people in the area could have seen him approaching or leaving the area."
Bouterey urged anyone with information about the robber to contact the New Plymouth police on 06 759 5500 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- Taranaki Daily News
Did the Key v Cunliffe debate change your vote?Related story: Support slips for National and John Key
View marriage and birth notices from around the region
View obituaries from around the region