Specialists are being called in to care for a 10-year-old girl who was the victim of an armed hold-up at a Dinsdale takeaway in Hamilton on Saturday night.
Detective Senior Sergeant Nigel Keall said victim support and a team of experts are being brought in to interview the girl to ensure her wellbeing.
"We will also be arranging an interview with specialist child interviewers," Mr Keall said. "This interview will also require the assistance of language specialists or translators as well."
Senior Sergeant Riki Whiu said police believed the takeaway shop was robbed about 10.10pm on Saturday, when a young male entered the premises and presented what they believed to be a black pistol.
"The man is alleged to have confronted the 10-year-old girl working behind the counter and pulled out a handgun before demanding money from the till," Mr Keall said.
He took a small sum of money and was last seen running towards the Rifle Range Rd-Killarney Rd intersection.
Mr Whiu said police were still looking for the offender and would like to speak to members of the public who might have seen the man fleeing the scene.
"Police would be keen to hear from people who may have seen a person maybe running from the scene, running into the scene or acting suspiciously," he said.
"We believe the offender had spent some time casing the shop and observing the shop from across the road, so he may have spent some time just roaming around the Dinsdale shopping area at that time."
Mr Whiu said the man was described as thinly built, with a fair complexion and "distinctive blue eyes", and was wearing a grey or light-coloured hoodie, with a blue bandanna covering his face. Mr Whiu said the use of firearms was a "huge concern" to police, as was the use of imitation weapons. "Be it imitation or otherwise, it certainly is a concern. It puts members of the public at risk."
Anyone with any information can contact Detective Sergeant Ricky Thompson at the Hamilton Central Police Station on 07 858 6200 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Waikato Times