Offenders brandishing knives and guns are being sought after four aggravated robberies in Rotorua.
Detective Sergeant George Staunton of the Rotorua police said the four aggravated robberies had occurred in a five-day period in the past week.
He said the first incident happened last Thursday when a Kawerau man was parked near Curtis Rd, near Tikitere, when he was "accosted from behind" by two men.
"The men stole the contents of the victim's wallet before driving off towards Lake Rotoma, in a silver/brown Nissan Skyline."
Mr Staunton said both offenders were described as young Maori, about 175cm tall and of medium build.
Both were wearing black hooded sweatshirts, sunglasses, bandanas and long pants.
"One of the offenders was armed with what is believed to have been a firearm, described as a cut-down side-by-side shotgun with a dark wood pistol grip," he said.
"The vehicle driven by the pair is described as being in tidy condition, with a moulded boot spoiler and wide, low profile tyres."
Mr Staunton said the second incident was the aggravated robbery of the Gull Service Station on Edmond Rd in Rotorua.
The robbery happened about 7.20pm on Friday when two men entered the store. One was armed with what appeared to be a gun.
"One demanded money from the till while the other stood nearby.
"They then ran out on to the forecourt area, one ran towards Homedale St and the other towards Linton Park."
The offenders were described as young Maori of average height and slight build.
"The gun has been described as a semi-automatic pistol."
The next incident happened about 7pm on Sunday when a man wearing a balaclava went into Koutu Rd Four Square armed with a knife.
"The offender removed a till, however before leaving the shop he was confronted by the shop owner, who struck the robber across the head with a mop, forcing the raider to leave empty-handed."
He said the offender also left behind a distinctive pink-coloured Supre bag before running off.
"The shop owner gave chase for about 100m before losing sight of the offender."
Mr Staunton said the man was about 155cm tall and of fat build. He was wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt with a grey "diamond-like pattern".
"We recovered a pair of black Darbi leather motorcycle-style gloves, which we believe the offender discarded as he jumped a fence along Koutu Rd into Taharangi St."
He said the knife used was a kitchen knife about 30cm long with a black handle, but it has not yet been found by police.
The fourth aggravated robbery happened about 7.30pm on Monday night, when two men demanded money from staff at King Dragon Takeaways in the Owhata Shopping Centre.
Mr Staunton said the men went into the takeaway brandishing knives.
"The owners picked up a pot and a chair and told the two offenders to leave.
"They then left running out on to Te Ngae Rd, heading east." Mr Staunton said "fortunately no one was physically hurt" during any of these robberies.
He said it was unusual that four similar incidents happened so close together.
"We do not believe any of these four incidents are connected at this stage.
"But we would very much like to hear from anyone who has any information in relation to any of these robberies, which will greatly assist us in our inquiries."
Mr Staunton said small business owners should be extra vigilant when it came to security measures.
He said any suspicious activity should be reported to police as soon as possible.
Anyone with information about any of the incidents should call Rotorua police on (07) 348 9400 or by phoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.