DETECTIVES have released CCTV footage following an armed robbery at a supermarket.

The robbers threatened a shop assistant with a machete and stole thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes.

Three men armed with a machete and a holdall burst into a supermarket on Newbrook Road on the Atherton/Over Hulton fringe at around 8.20pm on December 23.

They stole cigarettes from behind the counter and money from the till before running out of the shop and driving off in a small white van parked round the back.

The first offender is described as white; he was wearing a three quarter hooded coat and a balaclava covering his face. He wore dark tracksuit bottoms and grey Adidas trainers, he was carrying the machete.

The second was wearing a navy blue three quarter hooded coat with a dark face covering. He wore black Adidas tracksuit bottoms and black trainers.

The third was wearing a navy blue waist length hooded top with a blue face covering. He wore light grey Adidas tracksuit bottoms and was carrying a Nike holdall.

Det Sgt Tony Lunt from Bolton division, said: “We have issued a fresh appeal for witnesses following this armed robbery last month.

“The CCTV footage is very clear and I would urge you to take a close look at these men.

“If you recognise them from the clothes they are wearing or have any information about the incident, please contact the police as soon as possible.

“The robbery happened at around 8.20pm and I would urge anyone who witnessed the robbery or saw these men acting suspiciously or driving the white van around the time of the incident to contact us.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 5608 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.