A west Auckland shopkeeper had a knife held to his throat as his till was stolen from his store.

Two men armed with scissors and a knife stormed into the Sunnyvale Takeaways in Sunnyside Rd, Waitemata at 8pm on Saturday night.

One of the men held the knife to the shop owner's throat, while the other man stole the cash register, police said.

Children were in the store at the time and watched in horror.

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Detective Sergeant Kelly Farrant said the robbery was "extremely distressing for everyone involved".

"The shop owners had young children in the store at the time of the robbery and witnessed the incident.

Police and members of the public chased after the two men, who had fled towards Awaroa Rd.

Police have released CCTV footage of the robbery and have asked for anyone who recognises the robbers, or who saw anything suspicious in the area, to contact them.