Workers at a West Auckland takeaway business were threatened with scissors and knife during a clumsy and chaotic robbery attempt which was captured on CCTV.
Entering Sunnyvale Takeaways, on Sunnyside Rd, around 8pm on Saturday, two men forced their way behind the counter brandishing a pair of scissors and a knife at the store's two owners.
Police say young children were present at the time and witnessed the armed robbery.
One of the men held a knife to one of the owner's throats while the other attempted to rip the cash register from its place on the counter, which they made off with.
Removing the cash register proved difficult, with the extension cord remaining connected to the counter.
The knife-weilding man had to come to the assistance of his accomplice to rip it away, as they fled out the door.
Waitemata Police Detective Sergeant Kelly Farrant is asking anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the Sunnyvale area on Saturday to come forward.
"This has been extremely distressing for everyone involved and we are committed to finding those responsible."
Police, as well as members of the public, pursued the men but they were not able to be located at the time.
Information can be passed on to Waitakere CIB on 09 837 9511.