Armed robbers are being sought by police after a brutal onslaught netted nothing more than lollies.
Three men, armed with a hammer, entered the Rangitikei Street dairy in Whanganui East just before 5.30pm on Saturday.
"They assaulted the male shopkeeper, as well as a woman who came to his aid," Detective Constable Neville Mullany said.
"Both victims were struck on the head in what was a vicious and unprovoked attack.
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"They were subsequently treated in hospital for non-life-threatening head injuries.
"A fourth male offender had remained outside.
"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."
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.
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 a 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.