Police are appealing for witnesses after two women at Scarlet Lounge in Whangarei were robbed at knifepoint.
At about 9pm on Tuesday two men walked into the Clyde St brothel and one produced a knife and demanded money from the two women.
They left with cash and items belonging to the women and a vehicle was heard leaving the scene.
One of the men is described as Maori, in his early 20s, 1.68 tall, and of medium build. He had short black hair (around 2.5cm long) and was wearing a red baseball hat and possibly a green t-shirt.
The other man is described as Maori, slightly shorter than the first man, of stocky build and with a round face. He had a shaved head and a tattoo on the right side of his neck which appeared to include writing and a picture.
The owner of the Scarlet Lounge was on holiday and unaware of the aggravated robbery.
Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area on Tuesday or who may have witnessed the incident.
Anyone with information can contact Detective Sergeant Shane Pilmer at the Whangarei Police on 09 430 4589 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Meanwhile, Whangarei police have arrested five people who were caught soon after breaking into The Brew Store in Vine St and stealing synthetic cannabis products.
Just after 3.30am on Tuesday five men aged from 17 to 26 allegedly gained entry to the shop by smashing a window before taking property from the shop including synthetic cannabis products. The alleged offenders were located by police in a nearby flat shortly after the break-in.
Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin Burke says targeting by thieves of synthetic cannabis products remains an ongoing issue.
"Shop owners need to be aware that they could be targets of burglars and are putting themselves at risk by displaying the products in full view and in areas that are easy to get at," Mr Burke said.