An elderly man was stabbed by an unknown assailant last night at his home in Mataura.
Southland Police said the incident happened at the man's Main St flat about 10pm.
"An unknown man entered the address, demanding money from the elderly occupant of the flat.
"When the victim said he didn't have any money the offender stabbed him once in the chest, before fleeing the scene."
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Police and ambulance were called to the scene. The victim taken to Southland Hospital with serious injuries. He is currently in a critical but stable condition.
"We understand that members of the community will be concerned by this incident, and we are committed to making sure the offender is held accountable for his actions, and the victim receives the justice he deserves," says Sergeant Scott MacKenzie.
"We are working very hard to identify and catch the offender, and if you have concerns at all, please do not hesitate in calling 111.
"When the offender fled the scene we believe he headed towards the railway station, and we ask that anyone who was in the area last night around the time of the stabbing please gets in touch."
The offender is thought to be of average height and build. At the time of the attack he was wearing a grey hoodie and dark pants.
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to contact Sergeant Scott MacKenzie at the Invercargill Police Station on 03 211 0400, or their local police station.
Alternatively, information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.