Armed robbers have burst into a Leyland bank full of customers and demanded money.
Robbers armed with a gun and sledgehammer have stormed a bank full of customers and escaped with thousands of pounds in cash.
Shoppers and business owners watched the robbery unfold at Lloyds TSB on Hough Lane, shortly after 9.30am this morning.
Two masked men wearing dark clothing got out of a car brandishing what appeared to be a handgun and a sledgehammer and threatened a G4S security guard making a delivery to the bank.
They then went inside the bank and demanded money.
The offenders then ran from the bank and got into a waiting grey car, it is believed with two other offenders on board, and left the scene with a large quantity of cash.
It is thought the car has then headed towards Standish in Wigan where it was abandoned on Rushwood Park, off Preston Road.
Detective Inspector Geoff Hurst said: “Fortunately, it would seem that no one has been injured but people involved have been left extremely shocked by what must have been a terrifying experience.
“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and witnessed the robbery to come forward and contact police.
“I am also keen to speak to people who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously prior to the incident in the area around Leyland.
“In addition, I would make a further appeal to anyone in the Standish area who may have seen a vehicle being abandoned or who may have seen two men who were sighted walking away from the vehicle.
“Those two men have been described as follows: The first man had a receding hairline and was wearing a light blue t-shirt with a motif and knee length shorts and was carrying a holdall.
“The second man was described as wearing a khaki t - shirt with distinctive camouflage shorts, a camouflage baseball cap and carrying a white plastic bag in both hands.
“We would like to identify these men so that we are able to eliminate them from our enquiries and I would urge anyone who has any information at all that they think could help to contact us as soon as possible.”
Anyone with any information can contact police by calling 101 or alternatively, information can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.