Police are searching for a trio who used weapons to break into a Hamilton petrol station overnight, taking off with the till and cigarettes.

The three offenders smashed the front window of the Mobil Service Station on the corner of Clyde Street and Peachgrove Road in Hamilton around 2am this morning.

The trio stole the till and cigarettes before taking off in a Subaru Forrester.

The solo shop attendant fled and hid in a back room, escaping injury.

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The car used in the robbery was located a short time later in Melville, with the empty till and cigarette trays inside.

A second car linked to the robbery was also found abandoned near the high school in Ngaruawahia.

Police were undergoing forensic testing on both vehicles.

Officers were appealing for anyone with relevant information to get in touch.