/ Armed masked men steal cigarettes in Atherton

Two masked men held a shop worker at gunpoint for cigarettes in Atherton. 

Shortly after 7pm on Sunday 19 November 2017, police were called to reports of an armed robbery at Asda on Bolton Road. 

Two men, armed with a machete and what’s believed to be a handgun, forced entry to the store using a crow bar before proceeding to steal a quantity of cigarettes. 

A shop worker approached the men as they filled their bag with cigarettes, but they pointed the gun towards him.  

He moved out of the way and fortunately, nobody was injured. 

The offenders then fled down Bolton Road in a dark coloured Vauxhall Vectra before crashing into another car on High Street in Atherton. 

A 65-year-old woman - who was in the car - was treated at the scene by paramedics for shock.  

The duo then fled on foot towards Atherton Baptist Church where they held a red Ford Fiesta at gunpoint before dragging a 75-year-old woman from the car and making off in the Fiesta towards Hindley.  

One man has been described as white, of stocky build, wearing a dark blue jacket with the hood up with black jogging bottoms, black and white trainers and gloves. 

The second man has been described as white, of stocky build, wearing a brown jacket with brown trousers and gloves. 

Both men wore balaclavas in an attempt to conceal their identity.  

Detective Sergeant Nigel Rigby, of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “These men demonstrated an inexcusable level of violence all for stealing cigarettes.  

“Their use of weapons was brutal and their actions have left a number of people extremely shaken and concerned for their safety.  

“We will not tolerate members of our community being targeted in this way and we are appealing for anyone who may have any information that could assist our investigation to please come forward.” 

Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting incident number 1994 of 19/11/2017, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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