A frustrated Tauranga pharmacy owner has described an early morning ram-raid of their store as a "slap in the face" during a frustrating time in the healthcare sector.
Police were called to a break-in at Gate Pa Village Pharmacy on Courtney Rd at about 5am.
Two large windows had been smashed, and the following morning there had been one police officer conducting a scene examination.
A security guard was also at the entrance liaising with customers, while staff were seen cleaning inside.
The pharmacy owner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said a vehicle had been used to smash through the front window and steal merchandise when the alarm went off.
No drugs were stolen.
She said the ram-raid was a "frustrating" incident at an already frustrating time in health care.
"You give a lot of yourself to the community, and we know it's hard out there, but we just are trying to help," she said.
"Nobody needs this ... it just feels like a slap in the face."
She said staff were "shaken" as much as she was as their space had been violated.
"It's not the items that were taken, it's the violation of your space and your security ... it's the security of a team that's so vulnerable and has gone through two years of abuse, and now this is just a slap in the face."
She said they were lucky to be surrounded by businesses that called the police immediately, disrupting the alleged offenders within minutes of entering the building.
The businesses had also provided police with security footage to help the investigation.
She said security company Nutech and police had been "amazing", and had arrived within minutes.
She had owned the pharmacy for six years and said this was the worst thing that had happened, with previous damage coming in the form of thrown bottles or broken windows.
"This is clearly showing the hardship people are facing."
The pharmacy was closed while the scene investigation continued and the store was repaired. She was unsure how long it would take to reopen.
She said staff were trying to work out a system to allow those needing prescriptions to pick them up from their cars.
"We're going to group together and take comfort in the fact that the community will rally around us and help out wherever they can."
She said there had been a lot of positive support already.
"Just be kind and think about the impact on the other person that has put their heart and soul into the space to be part of the community."
Police were investigating the raid.
A police spokeswoman said a person had used a vehicle to gain entry into a pharmacy and driven off with items from the store.