Violent store raid captured on CCTV

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THIS is the terrifying moment masked raiders stormed a corner shop brandishing weapons and forcing a teenage girl to the floor. Violent store raid captured on CCTV

Police have released the shocking CCTV images in the hope of catching the thugs, who struck at the Co-op store on Chain Lane, Staining, on Thursday night.

The two masked men – armed with an axe and a screwdriver – targeted the store around 9.40pm, demanding cash and access to the safe.

The 16-year-old girl, one of three customers in the shop at the time, was forced to the floor by the men before staff intervened and managed to lock her in a back room for safety. It was from there she managed to alert police to the terrifying incident.

One of the raiders leapt behind the counter and filled a grey sack with cigarettes before prising open the till and helping himself to hundreds of pounds in cash, while the second man guarded the door with an axe.

Two staff members who were working are said to have been left “incredibly shaken” by the incident.

Raiders have struck at least nine shops across the Fylde coast in the last three months in what has been dubbed a “reign of terror”.

But Det Sgt Jane Atkinson, from Blackpool CID, said forensic evidence had so far failed to link this raid to others.

“At this time it’s not linked to any of the others,” she said.

“We are investigating all (of the raids), linking in with officers to see whether there might be a possible link between them.

“The two people with an axe and a screwdriver have demanded money and demanded to know where the safe is.

“One has then gone behind the till while the other one stood guard at the door.

“Both the staff and customers were left incredibly shaken.”

The two men are both said to be in their early 20s, white, and were dressed in dark clothing with their faces covered by scarves.

It is not known exactly how much cash they managed to escape with.

Terrified staff were held up by masked raiders after they burst into B&M Bargains on Highfield Road in South Shore armed with a crow bar on January 24.

Just days earlier, on January 18, a knife-wielding raider walked into William Hill on Waterloo Road, South Shore, and demanding he hand over cash.

The Co-op store, Fleetwood Road, Thornton; The One Stop, East Pines Drive, Anchorsholme; The Wine Stop, Westcliffe Drive, Layton; Aireys Wine Stores, Bristol Avenue, Bispham; Simply Food and Drink, Hornby Road, Blackpool, and McColls in Warton have all been attacked in the last few months with knives and hammers used to threaten staff.

Anyone with information or who thinks they recognise those involved is urged to call Lancashire Police on 0845 125 35 45 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.