Police are at Michael Hill Jewellers in St Lukes where thieves have carried out a brazen robbery in the middle of the busy shopping mall.
Two thieves are now on the run with "a quantity of jewellery".
Michael Hill is the second store they tried to rob although it's not clear if they managed to get anything from the other jewellers, Silvermoon Luxe.
Panicked shoppers initially thought a gunman was firing shots at about 3.25pm but the noise is now believed to have been glass shattering at Michael Hill .
Police say they are aware of reports of a gun but believe the offenders were armed with bats and a hammer.
A Michael Hill staff member told the Herald the store had been robbed this afternoon but said she didn't see a gun.
The assistant manager of Pascoes jewellery store at St Luke's, Maninder Kaur, said the thieves tried to break into the Silvermoon store after robbing Michael Hill Jeweller.
Kaur said she closed her shop for about 10 minutes.
"We were closed because the customers were so panicked. Some people from outside started coming inside so we just closed the door."
Kaur said the noise sounded like a gunshot.
"It was a very heavy sound. You have to have something strong hitting at the glass."
Silvermoon owner Peter Lee said the robbers smashed one window in his shop but did not take anything and no one was injured.
"We are trying to pull ourselves together," he said.
He said only two female staff were in the shop at the time and were still in shock, but unharmed.
"Luckily only one of the staff was standing close to that window," he said. "They knocked a hole out as they went past the shop, just to grab whatever they can."
He said the shop would be closed for the rest of the day and is providing closed-circuit TV footage to police.
People on social media said there were evacuations and up to six police cars and a police helicopter were at the scene.
An employee at Godfreys across the road said he had seen one police car going into the mall. He could see a group of people milling around outside at the lights and outside the door. People seemed calm, he said. "It doesn't feel like anyone is rushing."
Sophie, who didn't want her last name used, told the Herald she was in Farmers with a friend when she heard strange noises.
They sounded like gun blasts or glass breaking she said.
"I went outside looked down and saw a couple of stores were closing their roller-doors and people were running," she said.
"When I heard those noises my heart was absolutely pounding and I didn't know what was going on.
"Once it had calmed down a shopper told me they believed someone had gone into Michael Hill Jewellers wearing white masking and were smashing up the displays to take the jewellery out of them."
A police spokesperson said the offenders took a "quantity of jewellery before fleeing the scene".
There are no reports of injuries and police are working to identify and locate the offenders.
Police are aware of reports a firearm was also present but the spokesperson said this has not been confirmed.
Sophie said there was no announcement over the loudspeakers about the incident and wondered if shoppers at the other end of the mall were aware of what even happened.
After speaking to the Herald, Sophie went back towards Michael Hill and said cabinets were shattered and police officers were on site.