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A liquor store worker was assaulted by a gunman last night during an armed robbery in Northland.
The incident is one of several armed robberies in the region in recent weeks and police want help to identify the offenders.
A man entered the Whangarei Liquor Centre on Maunu Road and presented a firearm at the store worker about 7pm.
The offender took cash from the till and ran off.
He was seen heading down the alleyway towards First Avenue. The store worker was assaulted by the offender, but was not injured.
Detective Senior Sergeant Dene Begbie said it was the second time in a month the store had been targeted by armed robbers and was the fourth armed robbery in recent weeks.
The other stores robbed were Super Liquor in Tikipunga and Kamo Liquorland.
Mr Begbie said police wanted assistance from the public to identify those responsible for the crimes.
"The fact that they are carrying a firearm is a concern and with the recent assault the offenders appear to getting more brazen."
"Someone must know who is carrying out these robberies and they need to stand up and speak out now before someone gets seriously hurt.
"It is a long time to regret not doing anything after the fact."
Mr Begbie also urged members of the public to call police immediately if they saw any suspicious activity outside any liquor store or noticed any concerning behaviour.
"Police are also working with the liquor store owners and their workers to give them safety advice. If anyone is confronted by an armed offender do not challenge them and comply with any of their requests.
‘‘If you witness such a crime get as much detail as possible of the offender's description and anything else regarding the incident that may be of use to a police inquiry. No detail is too small."
Anyone with information relating to the recent armed robberies or who knows the person or people responsible can contact Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500.
If they wish to remain anonymous they can contact the Crimestoppers organisation on 0800 555 111.