The quick thinking of a Mount Maunganui dairy owner sent a man who walked into the store with his face covered running for the exit.
A man wearing a black hoodie and a dark piece of material covering his face entered the Arataki Superette on Oceanbeach Rd about 2.40pm yesterday.
The owner of the store immediately pressed the panic alarm, crouched behind the counter and started screaming, Tauranga police Senior Sergeant Lew Warner said.
He described the man's actions as sinister.
The man ran out of the shop and along Oceanbeach Rd towards Papamoa.
No property was taken and no words were exchanged between the shop owner and the man.
Police scoured the area and deployed police dogs but did not find the man.
Mr Warner commended the owner for her quick actions, which he said stopped the man from committing a crime.
"It is important to report suspicious behaviour immediately as it is better to prevent crime from happening and, as with any crime, the sooner police are informed the better chance we have of apprehending the offenders and being able to hold the offenders accountable,'' he said.
Keith, owner of Arataki Takeaways, said the superette had also been broken into one night a couple of weeks ago.
Burglars smashed the back door and took the till, he said.
He was at home having lunch when the man entered the supermarket yesterday but saw the commotion when he returned shortly after.
"I just couldn't believe my eyes when I came up the road. I thought, `Oh no, not again,'' he said.
"I feel sorry for her. It's a bloody shame. She's certainly had some bad luck.''
In April a woman pulled a 10-inch knife on the owner and demanded money.
The robber fled empty-handed when the the panic alarm was activated.
In 2009, a male took cash and cigarettes after flaunting a knife and a similar robbery, this time involving a toy gun, occurred at the store last year.
The dairy owner's son was running the store last night and said day's events did not put him off although he worried about his mum.
"She has had quite a bad run over the last few years,'' he said.