A man armed with a sawn-off shotgun robbed the Edgecumbe Plains Hotel last night.
Eastern Bay of Plenty Police are investigating the aggravated robbery that happened shortly before midnight.
Police say staff were closing the College Rd hotel when a man went into the premises armed with a sawn-off shotgun and threatened the two employees and two remaining patrons.
The man ran off with a quantity of cash. He has been described as being a male Maori, of medium height and athletic build, who had covered his face with a hoodie and sunglasses.
He left the scene in a light coloured 4 x 4 vehicle along College Road towards Main Street, Edgecumbe.
The victims were not physically harmed but the robbery has left them shaken. They are being looked after by Victim Support.
Police say the 4 x 4 vehicle had been seen acting suspiciously around the Edgecumbe township around 11.30pm last night.
They are seeking any information regarding this vehicle from people who may have seen it.
Police are also keen to speak to anyone that was in the College Road and Main Street of Edgecumbe between 11pm and 12am on Wednesday.
At this stage police say there are no apparent links between this aggravated robbery and the robbery of security guards in Kopeopeo on the January 27.
Any information can be phoned through to the Whakatane Police Station on (07)
308 5255 or via Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.