Whangarei dairy owners were left shaky after three males wielding weapons demanded money and robbed the store of cigarettes.

Police were called to the Jack St Dairy in Otangarei about 4pm yesterday after reports three males carrying weapons, believed to be sticks with knives attached, had entered the store demanding money and eventually taking off with cigarettes.

A Jack St resident who described the owners as "lovely" said she was upset with what had happened and was worried there may be no more Jack St Dairy if similar incidents kept occurring.

"They are lovely, they look after the community. It's terrible, it's really terrible.

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"They were a bit shaky because they have a little boy," said the woman, who did not want to be identified. The woman said the store has been robbed several times. Police detectives and dog handlers were at the scene. Police said the dogs managed to track a scent to William Jones Drive however there were too many people in the street so the scent was lost.

The resident said a witness told her she had seen a group of males wearing black hoodies, one wearing a white mask, standing outside the store before the robbery so she drove further down the street before calling 111.

As of edition time yesterday, the offenders had not been located.