Police are investigating after a car was stolen and victims had a shotgun fired at them in Avoca.
Detectives say a father and son had tried to chase down their car after it was stolen from their home, before the incident took a nasty turn.
They found their stolen car, only for somebody inside the car to scare them off by pointing a shotgun at them.
Upon fleeing, the shotgun was fired.
Police have released the following statement:
"Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for public assistance after a utility was stolen and shots were fired in Avoca last night.
The incident occurred when the victims, a father and son, were woken by the sound of their Ford Courier utility being driven from their North Street driveway at 9.50pm.
The victims got into another vehicle and went looking for their stolen utility in the surrounding streets.
A short time later they located the Courier utility, registered 1OF 4GL, on Astbury Street.
The driver of the stolen utility pulled up on the roadway and the victim pulled alongside.
The driver of the utility, wearing a black hoodie, opened the driver's door and pointed a sawn-off firearm at the victim.
The victims accelerated away and heard the sound of the firearm being discharged.
A later inspection of their vehicle resulted in investigators finding a bullet hole in the spare tyre attached to the rear of the car.
The victims told police they also saw a female sitting in the front passenger seat of the utility before it was driven away in the direction of Maryborough.
Detectives are also keen to speak to the driver of a red and silver, early 2000 model Holden Jackeroo which was seen following the stolen utility.
The Jackaroo was towing a black trailer with the first part of the registration being 1BN.
Investigators have released images of two similar type vehicles involved in the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au."