Police believe security camera footage will hold the key in catching robbers who ransacked Waihi's BP service station early this morning.
Detective Simon Everson said four men pulled into the station's forecourt in a maroon Ford Falcon or Fairlane about 1.15am.
"They've banged on the doors until the sole attendant has let them in," he said.
"Once inside they've assaulted the attendant who managed to escape out the back door and fled.
"They've then trashed the counter area and offices before making off with an unknown amount cigarettes and cash."
All four men then jumped back into their car and fled. All were described as male Maori, aged in their late teens to early 20s.
"The security camera footage is pretty clear and we're hoping someone will recognise the offenders. None of them was disguised though one was wearing a pair of gloves," said Mr Everson.