A Hamilton dairy owner was on the phone to his good friend Sandip Patel at 8.45am this morning when the phone line went dead.
Jaymin Patel instantly knew something was wrong over at Sandip's place of work, Emm Jay Dairy in Hamilton East, so started making his way there from his Knighton Rd dairy.
By the time he arrived a few minutes later at the scene on Brookfield Rd, Police had already arrived.
While he knew something was wrong, Jaymin had not expected to find his friend Sandip seriously injured after being attacked with a machete by two mask-wearing robbers, who also had an axe.
Jaymin was too shaken to speak to the Herald this afternoon, but his nephew Purak Patel said a customer had entered the shop after the assault and called for help.
Purak said the robbers fled the scene with cash from the till and cigarettes.
Police left the scene at lunchtime and Purak and some friends were cleaning up the mess.
"There was a little bit of a tussle," Purak said.
His uncle tried to protect himself against the men who slashed his hands and head, leaving him with a gash to the head and a fractured skull.
Sandip was taken to Waikato Hospital where he received stitches to the head and was in a stable condition, his nephew said.
New CCTV cameras had recently been installed in the shop after a ram raid in November and they hoped the footage would help police catch the culprits.
"The victim suffered significant wounds to his head and hands and was transported to Waikato Hospital for medical assistance," police said.
Police are investigating and want to hear from anyone who was near the dairy who may have seen the robbers leave the store or spotted the get-away car.
Anyone with any information about the assault can contact Detective Sergeant Scott Neilson on 07 858 6200 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.