Robbers smashed their way into the Texaco garage on Atherton Road, Wigan at about 2.40am on Tuesday October 31, terrifying the member of staff who was on duty.

The offenders had approached the shop in a car, carrying a large builder’s bag with them.

Out of this bag they produced a sledgehammer, which they then used to smash the glass on the customer door, which was locked.

They went over to the counter and used the sledgehammer to break into the till draw and take money from within it.

The group put cigarettes they stole from behind the counter into the bag they were carrying, before fleeing from the shop in the car they’d arrived in.

Detective constable Amelia Trimble of Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan Borough said: “This group used a sledgehammer in a brutal and violent way, to steal money and cause terror.

“Thankfully the person working inside was able to hide from the offenders, but this doesn’t take away from the aggressive way they broke in and took these valued items from the shop.

“This should be a quiet time of night, so I’m urging anyone who heard the noise of the glass breaking, or any kind of disturbance, to please come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 7292 or 101, quoting incident number 143 of 31/10/17. This can also be done anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.