A witness to a bank robbery on Auckland's North Shore was called on by police to try to track the man responsible down after he fled.
Police said the man, who was carrying a pistol, went into the ANZ Bank in Glenfield just after 1pm and fled with cash. No-one was injured.
The man was wearing a white hoodie and sunglasses, and is thought to be aged in his 20s.
Detective Sergeant Ross Clapp said the man was with a woman when he left the bank.
"Bank procedures ensured only a small amount of money was in the tills," he said.
'Stop the car, there he is at the house'
Signwriter Terry Murphy told RNZ he was up on nearby scaffolding when a "dodgy guy" went into the bank.
"It just didn't look right, so I was like, I'll go have a nosey, have a look. I went in there and he walked straight past me," Mr Murphy said.
He spoke to a bank staff member who told him the bank had been robbed.
Mr Murphy was asked to watch which direction the man went.
After following the man for a while, he went back to the bank. By that time, police had arrived and Mr Murphy was asked by officers to jump in a car and help them track the robber down.
"We were looking at where he would have been walking and I ended up seeing him at a house. I was like 'stop the car, there he is at the house'. The cop turned around, stopped, they went out with their guns and they were trying to find the guy. Soon after that, a taxi arrived."
Mr Murphy said a police officer went up to the taxi and asked the driver what he was doing there.
"What happened was the guy who robbed the bank, he went to the house, asked this lady to ring a cab for him," Mr Murphy said.
But the man was able to jump the fence and run away into a bush area, he said.
Mr Clapp said police had finished examining the scene and were speaking to several witnesses.
Police said earlier that they did not know if a car found in nearby Bayview was linked to the robbery.
Bayview Primary School was briefly locked down as a precaution.
There were a number of police dogs and their handlers in the area this afternoon trying to track the man down.