Two dairy owners were kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to drive around Tokoroa in an ordeal which lasted 40 minutes, police say.
The drama unfolded about 10.10pm yesterday as the couple were locking up their Amber Dairy on Bridge Street.
As the woman owner was waiting in a car while her partner locked up the dairy she was approached by a man with a gun. He forced her to return to the shop.
After stealing takings from the shop he then forced the pair to drive him around Tokoroa in a silver Toyota saloon car,
"He counted the cash before forcing them to make a withdrawal at an ATM machine on Bridge Street and then go back to the shop a second time to get more money,'' police said.
He then got them to drive him to State Highway 1 where he got out of the car near the Mobil Service Station.
He was last seen walking north on the highway.
The victims were not hurt during the 40-minute ordeal.
The offender is described as possibly a Maori or Pacific Islander, aged 20 to 25, of medium build, and tall.
He was wearing dark clothes and a blue and white bandana across his face.