The Whanganui community is rallying to support the dairy owner who was brutally bashed in a robbery on Saturday.

Rangitikei St dairy owner Mr Zhou, and a woman who came to his aid, were assaulted by three men armed with a hammer who entered the Whanganui East store about 5.30pm on Saturday. A fourth male offender remained outside.

"Both victims were struck on the head in what was a vicious and unprovoked attack," Whanganui Police Detective Constable Neville Mullany said.

"They were subsequently treated in hospital for non-life-threatening head injuries."

Advertisement

The robbery, along with the robbery of the Polson St dairy the same evening, has provoked outrage and concern on social media.

Whanganui woman Stacey Foskett posted on the Wanganui Chronicle Facebook page that she wanted to help Mr Zhou and his wife and is setting up a Givealittle page to raise money for security cameras to be installed at the shop.

"It's our local dairy and my children go there," Foskett told the Chronicle.

"The owners are lovely people and are really nice to us so I wanted to do something nice for them. It's for their safety and everyone's safety. They are our neighbours and we want our children to feel safe in our neighbourhood."

The Givealittle page is not yet active.

Police investigations into the robbery are continuing and they have appealed for help from the public.

Mullany said police would like to speak to anyone who saw four males aged 16-20 years near the dairy or in the Kitchener St/Hinemoa St area on Saturday. They are described as wearing dark clothing and a couple of them wore "camo" hunting tops.

"After taking confectionery, all four males left the store and ran along Kitchener St into the Kiwi St/Hinemoa St area. A police dog and handler tracked through the area but were unable to locate them."

Anyone with information can contact Mullany at Whanganui Police on (06) 349 0600 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Meanwhile, two people have been referred to Youth Aid after the dairy robbery on Polson St, Castlecliff, about 7.30pm on Saturday.

Mullany said the robberies do not appear to be related to robberies earlier in the year for which police have already made arrests.

He said police have visited 21 dairies, takeaway shops and service stations throughout the city in recent months to review security measures and provide prevention advice.