Police investigating the ram raid of Karapiro Mobil believe a third stolen vehicle was used in the commission of the crime.
Detective Sergeant Neville Ross says five people, believed to be youths, were in the vehicle when it crashed through the window.
Neville says two of the offenders carried bats, one of which was described as a baseball bat.
He says the sole employee was chased into the back of the store and sought refuge at the rear of the premises whilst cigarettes were stolen from the store.
“The offenders then fled the scene in a second stolen yellow Mazda Atenza, which was later found abandoned a short distance down the road.
“Police now believe a third stolen vehicle, a silver Mazda registration FYT67 was also used in the aggravated robbery.
“Of note is that one of the White Mazda Atenza used in the robbery sustained a puncture in the front right tyre prior to the incident.”
Neville says the offenders then changed that tyre somewhere in the Hillcrest area of Hamilton.
“It was replaced with a space saver.
“The original tyre was discarded by the offenders but has not yet been recovered by police.”
Police are appealing for anyone who may have seen people changing the tyre of a white Mazda Atenza in this area to contact Detective Bernie Kelly at Hamilton Police on 07 858 6200.
“We'd also like to hear from anyone who may have seen the three vehicles, travelling separately or together, in the wider Hillcrest and Karapiro areas early on Monday morning.”
Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.