A shopkeeper has been left in hospital after an armed robbery in Morpeth early this morning.
Just after 5am, a trio of men entered the Spar Express grocery store on Swan Street.
They made a bee-line for the tills and had started grabbing cash when a 47-year-old male staff member noticed.
He challenged the group, before he was struck by one of the bandits with an unknown object and suffered a wound to his abdomen.
All three fled the scene a short time later in a white sedan.
The injured man was treated by paramedics before being taken to the John Hunter.
By about 2.30pm, one of the owners of the store confirmed on social media the victim was feeling fine and had only suffered a flesh wound to his stomach.
Officers from Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended and established a crime scene.
As inquiries continue, detectives are urging anyone who may have dashcam footage from the Morpeth area between 4.50am and 5.30am to contact Raymond Terrace Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.