Police have revealed a man who tried to rob the Te Ngae Hardware and Lotto shop yesterday pointed a firearm at the shop owner.

The man went into the shop at the Te Ngae Shopping Centre at 3.15pm.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Wilson said the man demanded money from the shop owner and pointed a firearm at him.

A short time later the man left empty handed. He was seen running behind the Te Ngae Shopping Centre near Plunket situated on Vaughan Rd, Rotorua.

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He then ran in a southerly direction down Vaughan Rd.

It is believed that the man got into a vehicle parked on Vaughan Rd near Puketawhero Park.

The vehicle description is a black or dark grey sedan.

Of interest this vehicle was seen speeding in the areas of Tennyson Dr and Lynmore. The vehicle was last seen on Tarawera Rd.

Police are interested in speaking to the driver of a truck in which the vehicle cut off on the intersection of Tennyson Dr and Te Ngae Rd about 3.30pm.

The man is described as wearing a grey hoody, black pants and carrying a back pack.

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Mr Wilson said the incident was witnessed by a number of members of the public who followed the offender. Rotorua police would like to hear from any other members of the public who witnessed what happened and saw the offender and the suspicious vehicle.

Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact the Rotorua police on (07) 3480099. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.