Armed robbers battered a security guard with a hammer during a brutal raid at a Prescot shopping centre.
The 47-year-old was punched in the face and struck on the left leg with the weapon by two masked men.
Police and paramedics were called to the scene outside Tesco on the Cables Retail Park shortly after noon on Friday (June 20).
Detectives say the raiders grabbed the guard from behind and attempted to snatch the cash box he was carrying.
When the guard resisted, he was attacked until they managed to prise it from his grip.
He declined an ambulance following the assault but was later checked over by paramedics after complaining of pain in his jaw.
Police, who have not released a description of the suspects, say the raiders then made off in a waiting car driven by a third man.
The vehicle - described as small and white, and similar to a Citreon or a Corsa - was driven off in the Manchester Road direction and later found abandoned in a local cemetery.
Det Sgt Paul Ford said: “This was an extremely unpleasant and nasty attack on a man who was simply doing his job. Two men with their faces covered approached him from behind and threatened him and demanded the cash box.
“When he has resisted they have assaulted him, grabbed the box and escaped in a waiting car. Thankfully the victim is not badly hurt but he is understandably very shaken.
“This robbery happened outside a busy supermarket in the middle of the day so I am sure that it was witnessed by many people.
“Detectives are speaking to witnesses and following several lines of enquiry however we do need the public’s help.
“I would urge anyone who was in this area this morning before the robbery who saw a man or a group of men acting suspiciously to contact us with any information that could help us.
“Robberies like this are rare and I would like to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to catch the people responsible.”
Call Matrix Serious Organised Crime unit on 0800 230 0600 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.