An armed robber has shot the owner of an Edgecumbe store in the chest with an air gun.
Police were called to an attempted aggravated robbery at the Main Street Superette in the Bay of Plenty town last night at 6.56pm.
Whakatane Senior Sergeant Mark van der Kley said a man with his face covered entered the dairy about 6.30pm, threatened the owner with an air gun and demanded money.
After an exchange between the dairy owner and offender, the armed robber used an air gun to shoot the man behind the counter.
"He shot the owner, quite quickly, with a BB gun pistol and got him just at the top of the sternum and bottom of the neck.
"Because it was only a BB pistol, it stuck there and didn't do any damage. The owner just pulled it out, then he chased the guy out of the shop."
The dairy owner received minor injuries and was treated by an ambulance at the scene.
Nothing was taken from the dairy.
The offender, wearing dark clothing, a red cap and white shoes, fled across the road.
A look-out, wearing a blue shirt, also ran in that direction.
Police used tracking dogs to try and find the offenders.
Van der Kley said the offenders were two males under 20 and were likely hanging around the dairy before the attempted robbery. He asks anyone who saw them to call Whakatane Police Station on (07) 308 5255.