The Haven Road Store in Nelson was robbed on Friday evening.
Police descended on a Nelson suburb in pursuit of a robber armed with a toy gun.
Several blocks between Victoria Rd and Haven Rd in Stepneyville were cordoned off after a robbery at the Haven Road Store, at the intersection of Haven Rd and Russel St, was reported at about 5.30pm on Friday.
Police initially believed the male robber was wearing a gorilla suit, but it was just dark clothing.
A police spokeswoman said officers with dogs pursued the robber on foot, but lost track of him further up Russell Rd.
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The man stole cigarettes but dropped the bag he had put them in as he fled.
The cordons were removed after about an hour.
Police found the toy gun and some discarded Everlast brand clothing on Queens Rd.
No-one was injured.
Police are continuing to make inquiries.