Armed robbers struck at a newsagents in a terrifying daylight raid.
Three men wearing balaclavas approached two security guards outside Carleton News, on Poulton Road, Carleton, Friday morning.
They threatened the guards, who were delivering money to a cash machine in the shop at the time, with a crowbar.
The gang fled the scene with a number of cash cassettes.
Their getaway car, a black Mazda CX-7, was later found abandoned in nearby Saville Avenue.
Police believe the men then got into a dark brown Mercedes and travelled to Anchorsholme Lane, near to Norcross Cricket Club, where they emptied the cash cassettes and fled.
Money and cash cassettes have been recovered from the scene.
Nearby business owners shared their shock after the raid, which happened just before 10am on Friday.
Simon Dawes, owner of The Salon, on Poulton Road, said: “I was told there were three guys with masks and crowbars, and they hit the security van.
“We were all in the salon, then we just saw the police and everything.
“I think the owners are pretty shaken.
“We did have a customer who had her handbag stolen once but nothing as big as this.”
Graham Wood, owner of H Wood furniture store on nearby Blackpool Road, said: “I didn’t hear an alarm or anything but it’s a big shock.”
Det Insp Bev Foster, who is investigating the robbery, said: “Fortunately nobody was hurt in this robbery but understandably the security guards, shop owner and assistant were all in left shook-up and frightened.
“There were no customers in the shop at the time of the robbery but I would appeal to anybody that saw anything suspicious in the area around the time of the robbery or with any information that could assist with our investigation to come forward.
“I’d also be interested to speak with anyone that has seen a black Mazda CX-7 or dark brown Mercedes being driven around the area to call police on 101.”