Police are hunting an armed bandit after a robbery at a Sebastopol milkbar on Friday morning.
Police have been told a man armed with a knife entered the milkbar on Albert Street and was found by the owner behind the counter shortly after 7am.
It is believed the offender stole cigarettes before fleeing the scene.
Police describe the offender as Caucasian in appearance, 180cm tall with a thin build and was wearing black clothing at the time of the incident.
Five police units were on scene at Sebastopol Takeaway on the corner of Morgan and Albert streets when The Courier arrived at 7.30am.
A nearby resident who was seen being interviewed by police said he was not surprised the incident had occurred.
"You wouldn't know what happens around here, anything could happen," he said.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Unit arrived at the scene at 8am.
Police were door-knocking residents in the surrounding area.
A neighbour on his morning walk said he was not aware of previous robberies at the milkbar.
Four school children and a woman at the bus stop near the front of the milkbar were shocked to see a crime scene set up.
"It's a bit close to home," the woman said.
Anyone with information about the armed robbery is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.