POLICE are appealing for witnesses after three masked men burst into a village convenience store in Fence on Friday evening and stole about £1,500 in cash and cigarettes.
A 20-year-old local man was working in the Thorougoods store, in Wheatley Lane Road, when the three men entered at 8-50 p.m.
Armed with a claw hammer and screwdriver, they threatened the employee before stealing cash from the till and cigarettes.
Det. Sgt. Charlie Haynes appealed for witnesses or anybody with information to come forward.
He said: "The three men who have committed this offence were all wearing dark clothes and balaclavas concealing their faces.
"The victim, who fortunately was not injured during the offence, was able to establish the man armed with the hammer appeared to have a black beard, bloodshot eyes and yellow teeth. He believed all three were of Asian heritage.
"This is a serious offence and every avenue is being explored to identify and arrest these men. We are seeking the assistance of anybody who was in the area around that time and saw somebody acting suspiciously or the men making away from the store to contact police.”
Anyone with information can contact DS Charlie Haynes or DC Steve Acres at Pennine CID by calling 01282 472240.
Alternatively, people can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at www.crimestoppers.co.uk