A masked young woman entered a Dunedin dairy with a weapon last night and demanded money.

A police spokeswoman said the woman entered Sai Food Market in Prince Albert Rd, St Kilda, about 7.15pm.

She was wearing a dark balaclava and pointed a weapon at the shop owner before demanding money.

The Otago Daily Times understands the weapon was a knife.


After the shop owner backed away, the offender reached over the counter and tried to open the cash register but failed and left the shop empty-handed.

The offender was described as skinny, fair-skinned, possibly aged in her 20s and about 1.57m tall.

The attempted robbery happened about 500m from the Tandooree Garden takeaway, which was also robbed at knife-point by a woman about 6.20pm on Wednesday.

Police are still searching for the woman, described as a Caucasian of average height and skinny build in blue jeans, a blue or black hooded jersey and Ugg boots.

She was believed to be about 16-17 years of age, but could be as old as 25, Senior Sergeant Ben Butterfield, of Dunedin, said.

The restaurant's owner did not wish to speak to the Otago Daily Times about the robbery.

Police would not comment on whether two similar armed incidents at the Highgate Dairy, Maori Hill, are linked.

A man wearing dark clothes and dark sunglasses walked into the dairy last week carrying what was believed to be a large knife.

The man threatened a staff member but ran off when he realised other people were in the store.

In May, a knife-wielding man wearing a bandanna and hooded jersey demanded cash from the dairy before also running off empty-handed.

Police have yet to find the offenders.

"This matter is currently still under investigation and police have not yet arrested anyone for this offence," police said.

Police also avoided questions about whether the attacks were linked, and if residents and business owners in the area should be concerned.

"Police won't be commenting any further at this stage."

• Dunedin police (03) 471-4800, Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.