Dairy owners in south Auckland are calling for a law change allowing them to physically restrain thieves.
It follows the release of CCTV footage of a dramatic robbery in Papakura at the weekend, which frustrated shop owners say is a common occurrence.
Raghbir Singh has owned the Produce Star dairy in Papakura for nearly four years.
But he says most weeks he's targeted by thieves, and is concerned there's not enough police on the beat to stop them.
"When we call them they come maybe after 20 minutes," he says. "They waste your time, they say, 'We'll write a report', and then after that nothing happens."
CCTV footage provided to Newshub shows two young men entering his dairy earlier this month -- they stuff their pockets and run.
Last year, another reached right over the counter stealing cigarettes straight out of Mr Singh's hand.
And the offenders keep getting away scot-free.
"The main thing is they can't charge them. They don't have enough proof or witnesses, or something like that," Mr Singh says.
"We give them footage but sometimes they can't recognise them."
Concerned shop owners met today, they say offenders take advantage of the fact they're not allowed to physically defend their businesses.
They say they don't want to be armed, only able to restrain thieves in a non-aggressive way.
"Up to some extent you need to have a law change so that if you see somebody and their intentions are clear, you should be able to defend that," says Jasbir Dhillon, a spokesperson for the Auckland Sikh Society.
Police say prevention is the best method, and believe seminars for liquor store and dairy owners can help.
"Just basic human behavioural understandings to make their place less vulnerable, and that can be anything from product placement to CCTV," Inspector Dave Glossop says.
Two teenagers aged 13 and 14, and another two aged 16, have been arrested in connection with an aggravated robbery at Redhill Superette in Papakura on Sunday.
Officers are still trying to find another male teenager also allegedly involved.
Police say they've had more officers on the beat in south Auckland than they ever have before, and say their focus is to get to incidents as quickly as possible.