A pickaxe-wielding teenager in a disguise robbed a shop early this morning.

Police said the aggravated robbery happened at the Elles Road Night 'n Day store in Invercargill.

The 16 year-old boy allegedly demanded cash before fleeing the shop.

Police, including a dog handler, caught the teenager "red-handed" shortly after, not far from the shop.

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The stolen cash and pickaxe were recovered.

Detective Scott Mackenzie of Invercargill Criminal Investigation Branch said "reasonable periods of imprisonment are almost certain to result" if the offender was convicted for the robbery.

"It is simply a dumb thing to do."

Police said the 16 year-old would appear in the Invercargill youth Court on Monday.

Mr Mackenzie said there'd been several Night 'n Day store robberies in Invercargill recently "and in the vast majority of cases arrests have been made at the time or following investigations".