An armed robbery in Hastings on Friday has left neighbouring businesses worried.

The aggravated robbery at Stortford Lodge TAB, Heretaunga St, occurred at 9.55pm on Friday after two men entered the premises and threatened staff with a firearm.

Joy Bel Superette owner Tarsem Singh said he felt worried and concerned by the incident which was very near his store.

Read more: Local businesses paying the price


"It's very sad. I've got a bad feeling, it's never happened here before."

Mr Singh lived behind his store and now felt unsafe locking up at closing time of 7pm.

He had owned the dairy for about 17 years and the only other incident like this he remembered was when the chemist across the road had its front glass broken about six years ago, but he did not think anything was taken.

"It's a good area, nice people live here. It's normally a really nice neighbourhood."

An employee of a nearby business, who did not want to be named, said there had been a few incidents such as arson and theft at nearby businesses recently but that had been youths and this seemed much more sinister.

It was a worry for all nearby and she now always made sure she was vigilant with safety and security.

Pizza Hut Hastings duty manager Shawn Mullins said it was uncommon for anything like this to occur in an area which was normally quiet.

Asian Grocery owner Kung Chang said he was a bit worried as he usually felt very safe and had not heard of any similar crimes in the past.

Civic Video Hastings owner Ray Lake said it was unfortunate that the robbery occurred and they had been happening more often around the country but not near his store.

A police spokesperson said the incident was still being investigated and any witnesses were asked to come forward.

No one was injured but a sum of cash was taken.

The offenders were wearing dark-coloured clothing and had their faces covered.

They fled in an unknown direction in a car, described as a four-door station wagon.

A TAB spokesperson said "understandably our staff are shaken and we are supporting them".

Police conducted a scene examination on Friday night and spoke to several witnesses who would be receiving ongoing support.

Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity, including unfamiliar vehicles or persons, in the Stortford Lodge area is asked to contact police as soon as possible.

Alternatively information may be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.