A staff member at a central Rotorua liquor outlet faced off with a group of youths who pushed their way into the store and stole alcohol.

The staff member at the store - Super Liquor in Fenton St - said the incident happened yesterday after the group was denied entry to the store.

The man, who did not want to be identified, said about six people - four girls and two boys - all described as teenagers, tried to enter the store about 7pm.

They were declined entry because they looked under age - between 16 and 17.


The teens allegedly pushed their way into the store and threatened to fight him, he said.

It was quite common for under-age customers to steal alcohol when they were declined service for being too young, the man said.

When the group got into the store the man said they went straight for wine bottles and tried to flee.

They allegedly had a bottle of wine and two casks of wine in their possession at the time.

He grabbed one of the girls trying to escape and two girls came back to help her.

"They tried to start fighting with me,'' he said.

The worker was not injured but said the group escaped with about $100 worth of alcohol.

"Some people from Burger Fuel next door chased them and I think police may have caught them.''

Rotorua police confirmed they had been alerted to the alleged theft and were investigating the incident.

Sergeant Darren Sullivan said there were allegedly two main offenders.

Ryan Petch from the neighbouring Burger Fuel store was one of the people who chased the group once they left the alcohol store.

Mr Petch, who is the manager of the Rotorua store, said when he saw a group of youths running away he left to chase them in his vehicle.

"I followed them around for about 45 minutes.''

He said he saw the group jump a fence in Toko St and start drinking alcohol.

Mr Petch said the group seemed to be intoxicated and, when police arrived, they had separated into two groups.

"I caught up with one of the groups and said, `Your mates are in a fight over there'.

"They were so intoxicated they ran straight into police."

Mr Petch said when he returned to his workplace police were at the scene.

He saw police checking camera footage at the liquor store.

Rotorua police were last night speaking with a group of youths in relation to the central-city incident.

Mr Sullivan said he couldn't confirm whether charges would be laid.