A 12-year-old boy who attempted to rob a Kaitaia dairy at gunpoint on Sunday night was chased off by the dairy owner armed with a broom.
The boy got away with some sweets, but was taken into police custody a short time later, and police believe he may have been under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.
According to police, the boy entered the North Road Dairy at 8.35pm, armed with a rifle, but was chased off by the dairy owner.
Detective Richard Garton said the weapon was not believed to have been loaded and no ammunition was found when the address he had been at was searched.
The boy and a 15-year-old alleged co-offender, who covered their lower faces before entering the dairy, had been at an address in nearby Matthews Ave with six other young people. No adults were present, police said.
They then walked the short distance to the dairy, attracting the attention of a local probation officer as they entered the shop.
The younger boy allegedly presented the rifle at the shopkeeper and demanded money, stuffing sweets into his pockets as he did so.
The probation officer saw the boys fleeing and called the police, who found them at the Matthews Ave address. There police were allegedly abused by the other young people, who locked the doors and windows. Entry was forced and the two alleged offenders were found, along with the rifle and the clothes they had been wearing.
They did not go quietly, however, the 12-year-old allegedly spitting at a police officer, punching him in the face twice and kicking him in the mouth.
Police suspected that the boys may have been under the influence of methamphetamine.
The dairy was closed yesterday morning while the victims were speaking to police and a scene of crime officer was collecting evidence.
Inquiries are also being made into how the boy came to have a firearm.