Police are appealing for information following an armed robbery at a petrol station in Rossendale, Lancashire, on Monday 22 December.

At shortly before 9.50pm, two men wearing balaclavas entered the Spar shop at the Shell Garage on Burnley Road armed with knives.

They leapt over the counter and threatened the sales assistant, before one of them also hit in him in the face.

They grabbed about £80 from the till and made off from the shop. It is believed they ran off in the direction of Rawtenstall centre.

“This was very distressing for the victim who was simply at work doing his job and for other customers who were also in the shop at the time,” said detective sergeant Tom Edmondson from Burnley CID.

“I urge any witnesses or indeed anyone who has information about this incident to come forward.”

The first offender is described as white, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 9ins, medium build wearing a grey tracksuit of sweatshirt-type material and grey pumps. He spoke with what could possibly have been a local accent.

The second man is described as white, slimmer in build to the first offender, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 9ins and was wearing a black hoody, black trousers, and dark shoes.

Two men aged 21 from Rawtenstall and Baxenden were arrested in connection with the incident and taken into police custody.

Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting incident reference 1349 of 22 December 2014. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.