TERRIFIED shop assistants were held up at knifepoint by masked raiders – who then nearly mowed down a pedestrian as they made a high speed getaway in a car.
The three women were working at Aldi supermarket on Waterloo Road, South Shore, and were about to close up for the night when the robbers forced their way into the store and began screaming threats at the petrified workers.
They then produced a six-inch kitchen knife which one of the gang waved menacingly in the face of the nearest employee while violently demanding they empty the tills.
Meanwhile, one of the courageous women managed to get to a panic button and sound the alarm.
Investigating officer Det Con Phil Palmer, from Blackpool CID, said: “This was a terrifying incident for the staff involved and I’d urge anybody with any information to come forward.
“The offenders entered the store and made towards staff and produced the knife.
“They threatened the women and demanded money but then the panic alarm was activated.
“The noise appears to have spooked the men and they fled without getting anything.”
The brave staff members were left unharmed but traumatised by the incident and a manhunt has now been launched as police bid to track down the two robbers.
Last night they were due to speak to a male onlooker who was forced to dive out of the way as the getaway car sped from the car park.
Since the raid, which took place just before closing time on Monday night, detectives have been at the store scouring CCTV footage.
From the exterior cameras they have spotted the moment the thieves entered the car park in their car before running into the store.
They hope the description of that car and of the attackers could help them trace those responsible.
Det Con Palmer added: “None of the three women were harmed during this shocking incident but they were all badly shaken.
“The two men pulled into the Aldi car park in a charcoal coloured Vauxhall saloon car and entered the store as it had just closed.
“Following the incident, anybody who was in the area at the time may have seen something which could help the investigation, such as which direction the car was heading in.
“They left the area at quite a high speed and almost ran another pedestrian over as they left the car park.
“If anybody saw anything which might prove useful, I would urge them to get in touch.”
Police said the men had their faces covered with what looked like either scarves or hooded tops during the raid.
Both are believed to be in their 20s and wore black clothing – although one was wearing white trainers.
Anyone with information can call Blackpool CID on (01253) 607315 or contact Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.