Robberies are a common part of life for dairy owners, says a Rotorua shopkeeper.
"It's not if, it's when,'' says Ngongotaha Four Square owner Sailesh Patel, whose comments followed the armed robbery and kidnapping of a Tokoroa couple on Saturday night.
The two dairy owners were robbed and kidnapped at gunpoint just after 10pm.
Police say as the owner of Amber Dairy on Bridge St locked the premises and his wife was waiting in a vehicle, a man approached her car with a fire arm and forced her to return to the shop.
After stealing takings from the shop the offender then forced the victims to drive him around Tokoroa in a silver Toyota saloon car.
He counted the cash before forcing them to make a with drawal at an ATM machine on Bridge St and go back to the shop a second time to get more money, police said.
Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said the man then got the victims to drive him to State Highway 1 where he got out of the vehicle by the Mobil service station. He was last seen walking north on the highway.
The victims were threatened but not harmed throughout the ordeal which lasted about 40 minutes, she said.
The offender, who is a Maori or Pacific Islander, was wearing dark clothes and a blue and white bandana across his face. He is aged between 20 and 25 and between 180cm and 185cm tall.
Police will not say how much cash was stolen.
Meanwhile, Mr Patel said he was always concerned about being robbed and it wasn't a matter of if, it was a matter of when.
He said there was always a risk of being robbed but dairy owners had to be pro-active and make sure staff knew what to do in that kind of situation.
Springfield Superette and Lotto owner Raj Kumar agreed.
He said being pro-active by training staff, keeping vigilant, keeping the shop well lit and having cameras in place were ways of trying to prevent falling victims of a robbery.
However, he said he was always concerned.
"I think it's always in the back of your mind, but at the end of the day what can you do?''
He said people jumped into cars every day and risked crashing or having someone crash into them without a second thought. He said it was a similar case as a dairy owner when considering robberies.
Anyone who has information about the Tokoroa robbery should contact Tokoroa Police on (07) 885 0100. Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.