Detectives investigating a robbery at a petrol station in Detling, Kent, are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Kent Police was called at 11.05pm on Monday 2 January to reports that three men had stolen a safe from the Shell service station, located on the Maidstone bound carriageway of the A249 Sittingbourne Road, near Detling Hill.

The men forced their way into the premises after it had closed and was being locked up by a member of staff.

Patrols and a police helicopter attended the area and conducted a search for the suspects, who are believed to have left the scene in two 4x4 vehicles.

All three men had their faces covered wore black clothing and gloves and had hooded tops and scarfs to conceal their identities.

A vehicle was later seized nearby in connection with the incident and is undergoing forensic checks.

Crime scene investigators have also taken forensic samples from the petrol station and officers are continuing to explore any CCTV opportunities.

Detective sergeant Jason Booth said: “The suspects forced their way into the garage as a member of staff was trying to lock the main entrance. She was then made to stay in a back room, while the robbery was in progress.

“Although no violence was used, this would have been a terrifying ordeal. We are following a number of lines of enquiry but I would also urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or has any information to get in touch.”

Anyone with information can call the west Kent appeals line on 01622 604100, quoting reference 02-1188.