STAFF fled for safety as hammer-wielding masked raiders smashed their way into a post office.
Detectives are hunting three men who struck at Eccleston Post Office yesterday.
The Post Office - located in the Carrington Centre, at The Green - had just closed at 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 and carried out the raid.
Three terrified female staff, including 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 in the direction of Doctors Lane.
No one was injured, but staff were said to be very shaken.
The men, who tried to break into the cash office, escaped empty handed.
The Post Office reopened in December 2013 after a revamp following the redevelopment of the Carrington Centre.
DS Diane Higham, from Skelmersdale CID, said: “This was an extremely frightening encounter for the staff working in the post office who fortunately managed to get out.
“We are still trying to determine the make and model of the escape vehicle and so I am appealing to any witnesses who saw the potential car in the area, the offenders, or if anyone has any information at all about this incident to get in contact with us.”
Anyone with information can contact Skelmersdale CID on 01695 566180. If there is no answer, they can call 101 quoting incident reference 1062 of July 9. Information can be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details will be taken and you will not have to go to court.