A man is in custody after an aggravated robbery in Taupō in which one of the offenders ran over the other's foot during the getaway.

Detective Sergeant Andy Livingstone said police were called to a jewellery store on Tamamutu St about 12.50pm on Monday after a man smashed a display cabinet and stole a number of watches.

As he fled the store, a staff member gave chase, tackling him in a service lane at the rear of the premises.

Another person, thought to be acting as a getaway driver, was waiting in the same service lane in a stolen blue Mazda Familia, police said.

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The driver attempted to free the man by running over the staff member, who was restraining him with help of members of the public, but instead ran over the man's foot.

A police spokeswoman said the man was not injured.

The driver then threatened the staff member and bystanders with a pistol before fleeing in the vehicle.

The car was found empty but still running in nearby Motutere St.

It has been secured for forensic examination, police said.

A 25-year-old from Hamilton is in police custody and is expected to face one charge of aggravated robbery in the Rotorua District Court today.

Livingstone said police were appealing for anyone who may have seen the blue Mazda or the driver between 1pm and 3.30pm around Tamamutu St and Motutere St to call Taupō Police on 07 378 6060.

"It is incredibly fortunate that no one was seriously injured as a result of this incident but the actions of this driver and his disregard for the safety of others is of serious concern.

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"I urge anyone with information about this matter to come forward and speak to police."

The staff member from the jewellery store received minor injuries during the ordeal.