Armed police check cars after robbery
Armed police stopped cars leaving a suburban New Plymouth street last night after a pharmacy was robbed by a knife-wielding man.
A section of Parsons St, between the intersection with Glenpark Ave and Euclid St, was cordoned off about 4.30pm by police armed with rifles who were checking vehicles leaving.
The armed offenders squad arrived at the scene shortly after 5pm.
The cordons were set up after the Vogeltown Pharmacy was robbed of drugs and cash by a man brandishing a knife about 3.45pm.
Staff at the pharmacy used a panic button to raise the alarm.
Detective Senior Sergeant Grant Coward said the offender approached a female inside the pharmacy.
"He threatened an assistant and demanded money and drugs," Mr Coward said.
"He poked the knife at her – in the midriff – as he made his demands."
Mr Coward said the offender was given a quantity of drugs and cash before he left, but would not say how much money or what drugs were taken.
The offender is believed to have made his escape in a silver 1990s Mercedes-Benz which was spotted by police abandoned in Parsons St a short time later.
Mr Coward said the offender was described as a male European with ginger facial stubble, about 1.73m tall, aged between 30 and 40, wearing a black puffer jacket, khaki camouflage pants, a black cap and carrying a black backpack.
Police had the car towed away for forensic testing.
The AOS searched a house in Parsons St but the alleged offender was not located.
Mr Coward said police believed the man was acting alone.
"Police are following strong leads."
Police wanted to hear from anyone who had any information about the robbery.
They would like to hear from anyone who had seen a silver Mercedes-Benz in or around the Vogeltown area before, during or after the robbery.
Mr Coward would not say if the car was stolen.
"Inquiries in relation to the car are continuing."
Mr Coward said the victim was not hurt in the robbery.
"She's OK but is obviously very shaken," he said.
Taranaki Daily News