An elderly man is recovering in hospital after an alleged axe-wielding thief attacked him during a break-in near Newcastle.
The 44-year-old man had broken into multiple homes in Rathmines about 7am on Friday when the confrontation took place, NSW Police said in a statement on Friday.
The armed man allegedly struck the 73-year-old with the axe in the shoulder outside a home on Rosemary Row Road.
The victim was rushed to John Hunter Hospital where he remains with non-life threatening injuries.
The men are known to one another.
The 44-year-old was arrested at the scene and charged with multiple robbery, weapon and assault offences.
He is expected to face Newcastle Local Court on Saturday.