A 43-year-old man was injured as he tried to prevent thieves from stealing his van near his home in Harbour Road, Rye.
The victim had been told men were trying to break into his Toyota Hilux van just before midnight on Saturday, 11 August.
He went to investigate and was confronted by men, who drove at him with their dark coloured car. He jumped out of the way and was shot at with an air rifle suffering injuries to his face. The thieves then towed away his van, which had ‘Environment Agency’ sign writing on it, and made off.
The victim is being treated for his injuries at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and his condition is stable.
DI Hannah Willard said: “This was a violent attack and we are doing all we can to trace these men. The van was found just over an hour later in Charing, Kent, and it is being forensically examined. The victim is being treated for pellet wounds to his face and we will be talking to him to get as much information as possible. Extensive enquiries are being made and I would urge anyone with information to contact detectives on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”