Police are appealing for public assistance after a homeless man was assaulted and robbed in the Hunter region.
Shortly after 5am, Wednesday, police have been told a 45-year-old man was asleep in a tent along the Elcom Fire Trail, off Old Maitland Road near Cessnock, when he was awoken by the sound of a motorbike.
He unzipped his tent when two unknown men demanded his vehicle and keys.
When the 45-year-old refused, the pair allegedly assaulted him several times with a baseball bat.
The homeless man fled his tent while the pair took his wallet and car keys, before fleeing in the man's white Mitsubishi Pajero - with NSW registration plates AIB 56K.
He returned to his campsite and contacted police.
He was taken to Cessnock Hospital for treatment to injuries to his back and shoulder.
Hunter Valley Police District officers have commenced an investigation into the incident.
As part of their inquiries, officers wish to speak with two men who may be able to assist with their investigation.
The men have both been described as being of Caucasian appearance, aged in their 30s, and were last seen wearing dark clothing, with their faces covered by motorbike helmets.
Police are urging anyone who may have dashcam footage from Old Maitland Road in the early hours of Wednesday morning, or who may have seen a white 2000 Mitsubishi Pajero with NSW registration plates AIB 56K, to contact Cessnock Police on 4991 0199 or to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here