The latest victims of an armed robbery say they are living in a state of fear.
A friend of the victims, who is also a city retailer, has called for tougher penalties and says ''shopkeepers need to keep weapons behind their counters'' after the sixth armed robbery in Tauranga in just over one month.
Yesterday at 2pm two men, one wielding a hammer, entered the Carlisle Street Convenience Store and made off with cash and cigarettes.
Shopkeepers need to keep weapons behind their counters. There needs to be more power to shopkeepers.
Owner Aman Deep said an employee was confronted by the men, who wore scarves over their faces and hoodies drawn over their heads.
''He was really scared and just moved to one side and let them do what they wanted to do.
They took lots of smokes and all of the money out of the till.''
It was the third time the store had been robbed in three years although, on the second occasion, a staff member chased off the culprits ''with a big stick and they didn't get anything'', she said.
Ms Deep said the store's owners had increased security and alarms but ''we are seriously scared all of the time and worried''.
''Even if we are at home late we keep watching on our phones at the cameras to see what is happening.''
It was stressful, she said, and concerning because it was a daylight robbery.
A friend of the Deeps comforted the couple yesterday after the attack.
The man, who would not be named, told the Bay of Plenty Times the offenders threatened to kill the staff in the store and made off with cash and cigarettes.
"I've just left the shop. They are very, very scared," he said.
The man, who has 10 years' experience in the retail industry, said he believed the law was "soft" and there needed to be harsher consequences for people trying to rob stores.
"Police are doing the hard work. There's no doubt about that but the law is very soft. [Robberies] have happened to me many times and I don't trust the law any more.''
The law needed to be reviewed and the ''police are working hard but now is the time''.
''Shopkeepers need to keep weapons behind their counters. There needs to be more power to shopkeepers."
Bay of Plenty District Command Centre Senior Sergeant Steven Shaw said police were investigating the robbery.
''They have threatened the staff member before fleeing on foot with an unknown amount of cash and cigarettes.''
No one was injured in the incident and inquiries were continuing.
Mr Shaw said police took incidents of this nature seriously and they would like to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area yesterday afternoon.
Tauranga armed robberies
April 6, Liquorland, Cameron Rd, two men smashed into the shop with wooden stakes and assaulted a staff member. Nothing was taken. No arrests.
April 26, Lucky 7 Superette, Maungatapu Rd, two offenders armed with a black pistol entered the store, three people have appeared in court.
April 28, Thirsty Liquor, Chapel St, no arrests.
May 2, United Video, Fraser St, two men armed with a machete stole a small amount of cash, no arrests.
May 3, Quality Food and Spices, Cameron Rd, man entered the store armed with a blunt weapon and injured a store attendant after a brief struggle. Unclear if anything was taken, one arrest.
May 7, Carlisle Street Convenience Store in Greerton, two offenders one armed with a hammer stole cash and cigarettes, no arrests.
If anyone has information on the incident they are asked to call Tauranga Police on (07) 577 4300
Alternatively, information can be passed on anonymously via Crimestoppers on 08000 555 111.
For more articles from this region, go to Bay of Plenty Times