POLICE are hunting armed robbers who ‘used a sledgehammer in a brutal and violent way to steal money and cause terror’.

Officers were called to reports of an armed robbery at a Texaco garage on Atherton Road in Hindley at around 2.40am last Tuesday, October 31.

The offenders approached the garage in a car and had the sledgehammer concealed in a large builder’s bag.

They used the sledgehammer to smash the glass on the customer door, which was locked.

Once inside the shop the robbers climbed over the counter and broke into the till using the sledgehammer.

They took the money from the till and put cigarettes they stole from behind the counter into the bag they were carrying before fleeing in the car they had arrived in.

Detective constable Amelia Trimble, from Greater Manchester Police’s Wigan borough division, said: “This group used a sledgehammer in a brutal and violent way to steal money and cause terror.

“Thankfully the person working inside was able to hide from the offenders, but this doesn’t take away from the aggressive way they broke in and took these valued items from the shop.

“This should be a quiet time of night, so I am urging anyone who heard the noise of the glass breaking, or any kind of disturbance, to please come forward.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 856 7292 or 101, quoting incident number 143 of October 31. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.