Police have a warning for Rotorua Central Mall's fleeing shoplifter and driver of her getaway car: hand yourselves in or risk an inconvenient arrest.

Rotorua police prevention manager Inspector Stu Nightingale said investigations into Saturday's shoplifting, where a thief ran from the Rotorua Central Mall and fled in a waiting car, were continuing.

He said given all the information provided to police from the public, it was only a matter of time before they arrested the woman and her driver.

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"There has been no shortage of information from the public," Nightingale said.

"I'm really impressed and appreciative of the large amount of information given to local police and CrimeStoppers."

Nightingale said the woman was "well known is some circles" and recommended she, and the driver, hand themselves in to police.

He said if the pair did not hand themselves in, they risked an arrest that would likely be less than "convenient".

When the fleeing shoplifter jumped into the getaway car, locals Ray Holmes and Kevin Page stood in front of it to try to make it stop.

The fleeing driver aimed his vehicle at the pair and drove towards them at speed.

Nightingale said it was fantastic members of the public wanted to make an effort to stop criminals in their community but urged people not to take matters in their own hands to ensure their own safety.

"I don't recommend that the public take that sort of action because it can have disastrous consequences."