Police are hunting two men who allegedly held up three shops at gunpoint last night.
Detectives have issued images of one of the men holding a gun to the head of a shopkeeper in the hope a member of the public will recognise him.
Police say the men's crime spree began when they entered at Super Liquor Lynden Court, Chartwell, Hamilton, at 8.15pm last night.
They took cash and alcohol before running into Rossister Place to a waiting vehicle.
"About 8:10pm on Friday the 16th of August 2013, police believe the same two offenders entered the Tuhikaramea Superette Hamilton. One was in possession of a crescent and the other had a pistol.
"They again threatened the two shopkeepers demanding cash and cigarettes before leaving with both.
About 10:25pm the men entered a TAB on King St Hamilton.
They smashed a front window and threatened the staff member with a pistol, demanding access to the safe.
They left the scene with an amount of cash and other items.
In all three incidents, the offenders were wearing similar clothing and made little or no attempt to disguise their identities.
Police are appealing for help from the public in identifying the persons in the attached CCTV photos while urging caution that these men should not be approached. Police are concerned with the escalation in their activity and are appealing for help from the public to prevent further offending.
Persons with any information are requested to please contact Acting Detective Sergeant Andrew Mortimore at the Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.