Three armed and masked robbers stole a washing basket full of cigarettes from a Levin dairy this afternoon, police say.

The Winchester St shop was robbed about 4pm.

"Three masked offenders entered the dairy armed with what is believed to be a firearm," police said.

They then filled a washing basket with cigarettes before fleeing on foot towards Wilson St.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Levin Police on (06) 366 0500 or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.