A couple walking past a petrol station as it was being robbed by four men wearing masks could hold vital information, police said.
The gang, who had Liverpool accents and were dressed in ‘casual clothing’, according to police, smashed their way inside Ansdell Service Station, in Church Road, St Annes, at around 10.30pm yesterday.
Armed with a hammer and screwdriver, they forced a terrified male cashier, 33, to hand over £330 of cigarettes before running off down an alleyway towards Albert Road.
Detectives hunting the men have scoured CCTV footage – and say a man and woman, both with ponytails, walked past the garage at around 10.34pm.
Det Con Duncan Worsley, of Blackpool CID, said: “We are appealing for information from anyone in the vicinity at that time, that could lead to us tracing these offenders.”
Police say the garage worker was cashing up when the men walked up to the front door and smashed a glass pane at the bottom.
Two of them, one with the hammer and the other with the screwdriver, then got inside and threatened the cashier, who was left extremely shaken but unharmed.
They grabbed packets of Lambert and Butler Silver, in quantities of 10 and 20 cigarettes, and red Sterling in packets of 10, before fleeing, DC Worsley said.
A worker at the garage yesterday said he hoped the couple walking past will come forward and tell detectives what they saw.
He added: “It was a scary episode and we would like to catch them.”
The employee involved in the raid is understood to be off until Sunday or Monday.
Anybody with information can report it to police by calling 101, quoting crime reference number WA-160-83-97.
Alternatively, details can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers, either by calling 0800 555 111 or by going online to crimestoppers-uk.org