The masked youths who robbed a dairy at gunpoint for icecreams were captured by the store's security cameras - with their faces uncovered - when they visited the store shortly before the crime.

Detective Constable Barry McDowell, of Avondale police, told the Herald he hoped someone would recognise two of the youths from CCTV clips taken from the Edendale Dairy in Sandringham.

The dairy was hit between 8.15am and 8.30am on Saturday when the three males walked in and demanded cash and cigarettes.

But police believe two of the three robbers checked out the Edendale dairy between 7.45am and 8am that morning while they pretended to look for something on the shelves.

During the robbery one of the trio waved a gun at shopkeeper Shazia Hussain while the other two loaded a bag with about $400 - as well as chocolate bars and icecreams.

After the robbery the youths, who looked about 14 years old, fled on foot towards Edendale Reserve.

Mr McDowell said police couldn't be sure if the gun was real or not but it was being taken seriously.

Three boys questioned by police and then released shortly after the robbery were found near the scene but were not the robbers, he said.

Ms Hussain was alone in the shop with her 2-month old baby asleep in a back room. Her husband, Tahir Ketan, told the Herald on Sunday they were shocked at the age of the robbers.
Today he told NZPA his wife had been unable to sleep since the robbery.

"She is very upset," he said.

"She couldn't sleep last night and the night before. She says, `When I close my eyes, I see the same thing happening'. She is still in shock."

Mr Ketan, who wasn't present, said the incident, captured on security video, lasted 1-1/2 minutes and was like something out of the movies.

"It was like film-style, movie-style," he said.

"They threw a big black bag down and one of the boys stood there with the gun."

Anyone with information should call Mr McDowell on 09 820 5771.

- With NZPA