A SHOPKEEPER was left needing hospital treatment after being attacked by thieves he challenged in his store.
The yobs had entered the 11 O’Clock shop, in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, at around 8.20pm on Tuesday evening.
They snatched items from the shelves, but were spotted by the vigilant shop owner.
The storekeeper challenged them and they viciously attacked him.
He was left with cuts and was believed to have been extremely shaken.
The attackers then fled from the shop and left the area in a get-away car.
An ambulance was called to the scene and the victim was taken to hospital for treatment for the wounds.
Officers investigating the incident taped off the store while investigations were carried out.
They were not in a position to say whether any weapons were used in the assault.
Inspector Chris Dawber from Hartlepool Police today appealed for anyone with any information about the crime to come forward.
He said: “There was a theft at the 11 O’Clock store and the males responsible were challenged by the storekeeper, and as a result he was assaulted.
“The people responsible then left the scene in a vehicle.
“The shopkeeper suffered cuts as a result of the attack and an ambulance was sent for.
“He was taken to hospital for treatment to the wounds.”
He added: “We would appeal for anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of the males involved, or anyone who witnessed the incident take place, to contact us with any details they may have.”
Anyone who can help in the investigation, or who witnessed the crime, should contact police on the non-emergency 101 number, or Crimestoppers on (0800) 555111.