An employee is "shattered" after being confronted by three masked men armed with knives and a sawn-off shotgun at the Lucky Lizard Bar & Grill in Taupo on Sunday.

Police are investigating the incident at the Richmond Heights Shopping Centre which left the employee "pretty shaken", according to manager Ann Murdoch.

The victim was the sole worker on at 9.20pm and was in the process of closing up for the night when the robbers stormed in, forcing him to open the tills and safe.

Two of the offenders removed the day's takings, while the third offender remained near the bar entrance, acting as a lookout.

The three men then ran from the bar around to the rear of the premises and into the nearby reserve, police said.

The worker was not injured in the robbery, but Murdoch said he was not in a good state.


"Let's say he's shattered. He's definitely shattered. He doesn't want to be at work, he doesn't want to talk about it, I don't know how long it will take him to get over it. We're going to get him some help when he's ready," she said.

Murdoch said they'd never had a robbery before.

"We still can't believe it happened. It makes you look at everyone in a different light, and that's horrible."

Murdoch felt "really bad" because the victim had been working her shift for her when the incident happened.

"Our concern is really the safety of everybody, of our staff. They come first before anything else."

The offenders are described as follows: one around 5'10 in height and solid build; the second around 5'7 in height with a medium/stocky build; and the third around 5'6 in height and also stocky in build.

All the offenders were dressed in dark clothing with their faces and hands covered.

At the time of the robbery there were a number of people at the shopping centre, and police are asking those people to come forward, as they may have seen something which can assist with identifying these offenders.

If you have any information which might assist the investigation, call Taupo Police on 07 378 6060. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.