Staff and patrons were shaken and distressed after armed robbers stormed a Christchurch bar in a late-night raid, the bar's owner says.
Two male armed offenders raided the Sideline Bar in Stanmore Rd and ordered a staff member to open the safe between 11pm and 11.30pm yesterday.
The bar's occupants were all ordered to lie down, owner Terry McIntyre said.
The two robbers were in the bar for only a few minutes and it was not known how much cash they had stolen, he said.
He received a call from a distressed staff member minutes after the incident and rushed to the bar to assist.
"I got down there five minutes after it happened and they were all pretty shaken up," he said.
There were four patrons and two female staff members in the bar at the time of the robbery, and McIntyre said they were all "very white" and in tears when he arrived.
Both staff members, who were relatively new to the business, had been told to "take as much time off as they needed", he said.
McIntyre, who has owned the bar for 11 months, said he was "feeling a bit empty at the moment".
The offenders had entered the bar just as it was closing and no other shops in the area were open.
Detective James Haigh said the two men fled the scene in a white vehicle.
"Fortunately, nobody was injured, although the staff and patrons were shaken by the incident," he said.
The offenders are described as being male Maori or Pacific Islanders, wearing dark clothing and with their faces covered.
''We urge anyone who may have been in the vicinity of Stanmore Rd near North Avon Rd between 11pm and 11.30pm and noticed any vehicle or people fitting the description to contact police as soon as possible,'' Haigh said.
Anyone with information can call Haigh on 373 9118 or the Christchurch police on 363 7400.
To provide information anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Press
Have you adjusted to the new alcohol limits for drivers?Related story: New alcohol limits catch first drivers