Staff fled for safety as hammer-wielding masked raiders smashed their way into a village Post Office.
Detectives are hunting three men who struck at Eccleston Post Office yesterday.
The Post Office - located in the Carrington Centre, The Green - had just closed at about 5.50pm when the attempted robbery took place.
Onlookers in the shopping centre watched in shock and astonishment as the men pulled up in a white car in front of the Post Office, jumped out of the vehicle and carried out the raid.
Three terrified female staff, including the postmistress Lisa Jackson, 50, ran out of the building by its back entrance into a chemist’s shop next door.
The incident is said to have lasted just a few minutes before the men got back into the vehicle and made off.
No one was injured, but the staff were said to be very shaken.
It is not yet known if anything was taken.
Eccleston Post Office reopened in December 2013 after a revamp following the redevelopment of the Carrington Centre.