Two men alleged to have dressed up as police officers and robbers to rob businesses are applying for legal aid.

Jeffrey Teina and Labour Arepa Tauariki appeared at the Auckland District Court today.

Police allege the thieves distracted workers while others went inside and stole cigarettes and cash.

One of the men is alleged to have claimed he was a police officer at a massage parlour in Mt Albert while his co-accused robbed the house next door.

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Teina, a 30-year-old builder, is charged with entering properties, possession of cannabis, using a stolen bank card and five charges of pretending to be a police officer.

Tauariki, 20, is charged with pretending to be a police officer, entering two buildings and using the bank card. He is also charged with receiving a stolen cellphone.