Staff at a central Auckland dairy are in shock after they were robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight.
A man holding a firearm entered the Vincent Street mini mart at around 2.30pm on Saturday, demanding cash.
The teenage shop attendant had only been working there for a few days, but managed to trigger the smoke cannon as the offender fled.
Another staff member, who didn't want to be identified, says their workplace no longer feels safe.
"It happened so quickly... It's unimaginable. We never thought this would happen," she told 1 NEWS.
"[The man] had the gun and asked for the money. That's when the poor lad — it was his first weekend, he wasn't supposed to be here in the first place — he was trying to find his way through the buttons [for the alarm]."
She says the robber was unperturbed when the attendant triggered the smoke cannon.
"The robber asked for the money so [the attendant] gave him all the money, once the smoke was gone it took the robber some time to leave," she says.
"He was not shocked by the smoke. He got all the money and left."
She’s sympathetic towards the offender, appreciating that he must’ve been in a desperate position, but wishes he'd asked for help instead of resorting to violence.
"It's been a hard year for everybody."
The woman also told 1 NEWS that the young staff member, who’d been behind the till, won’t be coming into work anymore, as he's too shaken up by the incident.
Police say they believe this is an isolated incident and their main priority is locating the offender.
Two customers were in the dairy shortly before the robbery and police are asking them to come forward.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call police on 105, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.