Alleged robber threw wood spiked with nails towards car

A man who allegedly stole cigarettes and cash from a dairy at gunpoint was seen throwing wood embedded with nails at a car after the robbery.

Police found pieces of wood with protruding nails in the streets near the Mornington Night 'n Day store, which was robbed about 8am on Thursday.

''Police haven't ruled out that these items may have been brought to the scene and were of significance for the offender,'' Detective Sergeant Rob Hanna said.

''When he was running away towards Macnee St and on to Henderson St after the robbery he was seen to throw a piece of wood, with nails protruding from it, at a nearby vehicle with people in it.''

Police continued their investigations yesterday and were particularly interested the alleged robber's behaviour before the robbery.

''A man closely fitting his description was seen in a white sedan car between 6.30am and 6.45am in Henderson St, which runs behind the dairy on the south side of Eglinton Rd,'' Det Sgt Hanna said.

The alleged offender, who was yet to be found, was a male, possibly in his 20s, believed to be caucasian, about 175-185cm tall and of slim, athletic build.

He was wearing a distinctive multicoloured hoodie with a white background and coloured design and three-quarter trousers and boots. He was also carrying several bags.

His left arm appeared to have markings on it, Det Sgt Hanna said.

''It's not clear whether these are natural markings, permanent tattoos or have been temporarily inked on,'' he said.

Night 'n Day Foodstore chief executive Tony Allison said the female owner and female shop assistant who were in the shop at the time were ''still pretty shaken''.

''They [the owners] have let one of the girls have a couple of days off work because it was pretty scary,'' he said.

''It's fairly raw at this stage and we have still got police inquiries ongoing, so for her it's still pretty real.''

The store had decided, as a precaution, to roster more staff on because of the robbery.

Det Sgt Hanna said police had spoken to witnesses who saw the offender before the robbery, however, they wanted to hear from anyone who had information which might assist with the investigation.

''This was a brazen act that occurred at a busy time of the day in a busy part of town when there were many people around,'' he said.

''Someone who hasn't yet come forward may have seen something that will assist in solving this crime.''

Police were yet to confirm the total amount of tobacco and cigarettes taken during the robbery and they appealed for anyone who was offered significant quantities of cigarettes to contact them, he said.

Police would not disclose the exact amount of cash taken but indications were it was not a big amount.

People with any information which could help can contact the Southern District Command Centre on (03) 471-5002. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

-timothy.brown@odt.co.nz

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