Claw hammer robbery at Manchester Co-op store

image captionThe masked robber brandished the hammer as he grabbed cash from the till

A claw hammer was used to threaten "absolutely terrified" staff at a Manchester Co-op store by a gang who stole cigarettes and money.

Three men raided the store on Mauldeth Road, Ladybarn, on 9 February at 0940 GMT. One of them raised a hammer to two women shop assistants.

Images of the robbery, showing women pinned back and other staff made to sit on the floor, were captured on CCTV.

The men grabbed cash from the till and filled a large bag with cigarettes.

'Absolutely terrified'

The offenders, who were described as being chubby and in their 20s, ran away towards Rink Street.

The man carrying the hammer was wearing a balaclava and was about 5ft 10ins tall and wearing dark clothing.

Det Con Rick Anderton said: "While nobody was hurt, the victims were absolutely terrified.

"This was an audacious robbery by a group of men who were prepared to spend two minutes in the shop to gather as many cigarettes as they could."

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