African thugs armed with hammers and knives robbed two Melbourne petrol stations, hitting one of the cashiers in the face.
Four men smashed their way into a service station on the corner of Wood Street and Dalton Road in Thomastown about 4.45am on Wednesday.
They stole cigarettes and cash from the register while the attendant locked himself in the back room, before fleeing in a 4WD.
Minutes later, two men armed with a hammer and a knife entered another petrol station on Dalton Road and Keon Parade in nearby Keon Park.
The pair jumped over the counter and demanded the cashier open the register, before slapping him about the face several times.
Six other African youths then walked in and stole cash and cigarettes and drove off in a black sedan.
‘He’s quite distraught,’ Detective Senior Constable Mark Mulvany told the Herald Sun about the Keon Park shop’s condition.
‘The victim was slapped a number of times to the face during the ordeal and physically moved around he store but he did not sustain serious injuries.’
Police were investigating whether the two robberies were a coordinated strike, days after African gangs made headlines for a string of violent incidents.