Masked men, armed with a firearm, are on the run after robbing a dairy and fleeing in a stolen Audi Q7.

Nelson police are appealing for help from the public after a shopkeeper was threatened during a hold-up at the Victory Discounter Dairy in Nelson last night.

Police say the pair entered the store around 8.40pm and demanded the till to be opened. Both had their faces disguised by masks and gloves covering their hands.

They helped themselves to cash and cigarettes before taking off in a White Audi Q7, where another two people had been waiting.

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Nelson police say the getaway car had been reported stolen two days earlier.

The original number plate had been removed and replaced with the registration number KCF800.

Police later found the car abandoned on Moncrieff Ave.

Today an appeal was made for anyone who may have seen the vehicle driving around Nelson, in the Victory Square area, over the weekend.

Those with information were asked to contact Nelson Police on (03) 546 3840 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.