TODAY |

'We just saw two guys running' - Neighbour describes early morning blast at Hamilton mall

Seven homemade pipe bombs were seized by police at a Hamilton mall today, thought to have been an attempt to damage an ATM and steal cash.

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Yolanda Julius saw two men running through the car park after a suspected attack on an ATM. Source: 1 NEWS

Police say two suspects were seen on CCTV at the Chartwell Shopping Centre at around 2.30am today, placing the homemade explosives in groups by the ATM.

One detonated and one partially detonated, but five others didn't detonate at all, police said today.

The two people then escaped on foot, without any cash.

Hamilton City area commander Inspector Andrea McBeth says it's believed to be an isolated incident and she doesn't think the public is at risk.

"To me it doesn't look to be anything sophisticated and certainly our information is that [the bombs] are not capable of causing widespread damage," she told media this afternoon.

The NZDF was called in and the Chartwell Shopping Centre evacuated after the bombs were reported by a member of the public this morning.

No one was injured and the building has since reopened, but a barrier remains in place around the ATM.

After a "thorough search", Ms McBeth says police are confident there are no further risks.

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Seven homemade bombs were found by police in the shopping centre. Source: 1 NEWS

She says the investigation is still in its early stages, declining to release the description of the two suspects seen on CCTV.

Nearby resident Yolanda Julius told 1 NEWS she and her husband were in bed when they woke to a loud explosion.

"It sounded like an explosion at 2.45 this morning," she says.

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Cordons were put in place after possible "homemade explosive devices" were found at Chartwell Shopping Centre. Source: 1 NEWS

'We ran to the window, looked out and we just saw two guys running through the car park."

Ms Julius said the men appeared to be wearing dark-coloured hoodies.

"We thought it was an accident - but it sounded more like a loud explosion.

"No alarm, nothing went off, it just went all quiet."

In a statement this morning, Chartwell Shopping Centre said it was "cooperating with New Zealand Police on the matter".

"Chartwell Shopping Centre treats the safety of its retailers, customers and the public as the utmost priority and will await further notice from the police regarding reopening the Centre."