A masked gang brandishing machetes and a sawn-off shotgun tied up staff at a Lancashire pub-restaurant before escaping with £1,500 in cash.
The raid, in the early hours of Monday, happened as three employees at the Pig and Whistle in Lea, Preston were clearing up after closing time.
Police say the raiders burst into the bar on Blackpool Road at around 1.45 am and demanded cash. They threatened the staff members and then tied their hands behind their backs. The gang then took money from a cash machine and a safe before fleeing the scene. Lancashire detecives are appealing for help to trace who was responsible. Det Insp Paddy O’Neill said: “Fortunately the staff members were not injured, but have clearly been left shaken by what can only be described as a terrifying experience.”
The intruders burst in as the staff were believed to be cleaning out the beer pumps in the restaurant bar. All four men were said to be wearing dark clothing, gloves and balaclavas. Police said they were brandishing machetes and what appeared to be a short-barrelled gun.
“If anyone has any information that could assist with this investigation I would urge them to contact police as soon as possible,” added Det Insp O’Neill.
“It may be that someone has seen a group of men acting suspiciously in the area immediately before the incident or in the days prior to it.
“The offenders are described as having Liverpudlian accents. It may be that someone has seen a vehicle leaving the area at speed and we would ask such people to contact us.”
A spokesperson for the pub’s owners Mitchells and Butlers said: “Only a small amount of change was stolen.
“The important thing is that none of our employees has been seriously hurt - although understandably they are in shock and we are making sure they have all the support they need. We are helping the police with their enquiries.”
The pub was open for business as usual last night.