/ Large amount of cigarettes stolen during robbery

Masked thieves carrying knives and hammers stole thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes during a robbery in Chorlton-on-Medlock.

It happened at the NISA convenience store on Guide Post Road at about 11.35am on 12 December 2012.

A goods van was making a delivery to the back of the store and the driver had just taken one crate of goods inside.

As he was returning to the van, he was confronted by three masked men who threatened the driver with knives and hammers. One of the offenders then used a knife to cut open the plastic on one of the pallets, and stole six large boxes of cigarettes.

The gang then fled in what is believed to be a gold coloured Renault Megane. No-one was injured but the driver was badly shaken up.

The offenders were described as white, wearing grey hooded tops with the hoods pulled up and scarves to mask their identities.

Detective Constable Vicki Wilson said: "These men were armed with knives and hammers to cause the maximum amount of fear and intimidation so they could get their hands on some cigarettes.

"Thankfully the driver was not physically attacked or injured but he is very shaken up as a result of his ordeal.

"I would appeal to anyone who has information about this robbery, or perhaps suspects who may be involved, to come forward and call us.

"Also, if you are offered what you believe to be knock-off cigarettes then it possible you are being offered the stolen property from this robbery. If you are, then please call us as this could help us catch the offenders."

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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