Police are searching for four men who robbed a Mobil on Papatoetoe’s Cavendish Drive this morning and assaulted a staff member with a hammer.

Police said the four males assaulted a staff member before taking items and leaving the commercial premises shortly after 6am on Sunday morning.

Sunny Kaushal, chairman of the Dairy & Business Owners Group, said the victim told him that he narrowly missed being hit on the head with the hammer during a hospital visit this morning.

“It’s obviously very traumatic and painful for him.”

The victim received injuries to his ribs and wrist and is being discharged from hospital today.

Kaushal also said that he believes those who commit crimes like this have “forfeited their rights to freedom”, adding that “zero tolerance” is needed.

“We need the new Police minister to ensure that the police are properly resourced to clamp down on retail crime, so criminals know they will be caught if they commit these crimes against valued members of our community.”

A police spokesperson said a stolen vehicle believed to have been used in this robbery has since been recovered.

Police said inquiries to find the four men are ongoing.