Suffolk Police are appealing for information following a robbery by a gang armed with hammers and knives at Gainsborough Service Station in Sudbury.

The incident happened just after 10.30pm on Monday 12 June, at the Esso-branded premises in Northern Road.

Three men wearing balaclavas entered the service station armed with weapons, and demanded cash and cigarettes from staff. A fourth man waited nearby in a silver-coloured Vauxhall Astra-type vehicle.

The robbers smashed the till and a lottery machine with hammers, and left the scene in the waiting vehicle with a large quantity of cigarettes and cash.

The manager of the service station, who did not want to be named, told the East Anglian Daily Times he was not there when the robbery took place, but had been told about it shortly afterwards.

He said: “It was very scary for my staff to see these people come in. They had hammers and a knife and forced them to open the till and give them money.

“It happened around 10.30pm they came in and were being threatening towards the staff. It is a horrible and frightening thing to happen.”

The next morning the site opened for customers seeking fuel, but all of the supplies of cigarettes had been taken in the raid.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact Suffolk Police via 101, quoting crime number 41254/17.