Three men have been arrested in relation to an armed robbery at a jewellery store in a popular Auckland mall.
Two people entered the store in Westfield Mall, St Lukes, at 3:25pm. Armed with bats and a hammer, they stole a quantity of jewellery before fleeing the scene in a stolen vehicle.
Police say the alleged offenders abandoned the vehicle near the Baldwin Ave train station before catching the train to Kingsland. They boarded a western-bound train to Ranui, where they were tracked and apprehended in a street close by.
One other suspect is currently wanted by police and enquiries into their whereabouts are ongoing.
It's believed the thieves targeted at least two stores: Silvermoon Luxe and Michael Hill.
Social media erupted with reports of a firearm, but this hasn't been confirmed.
"So frightening, sounded like gun shots," one local wrote in a community Facebook group.
No one was injured in the robbery.
Video provided to Newshub shows smashed display cases at the Silvermoon Luxe jewellery store. The footage also shows people running in panic toward the mall exit in a mass exodus that caused traffic congestion.
There are reports that EVENT Cinemas and retail stores were placed into lockdown.
Witness Charlie Tamati was waiting to get his phone fixed when the robbery happened.
"I heard a loud smash and then I saw heaps of people sprinting past me and screaming. I went down to see what the noise was and saw what had happened."
He says he told staff at the jewellery store to close their doors and go into lockdown, as curious shoppers were starting to mill around the broken glass.
'It's quite freaky to see people run like that in a shopping mall, you just think of America," he told Newshub.
"They were freaking, they were screaming, they were almost tripping over each other. It's pretty scary, you see that in the States but you don't see that here."
Tamati says contrary to popular reports on social media, he didn't hear gunshots "or I would have gone the other way for sure".