"I'm just really relieved that nobody was hurt" - Newsagent speaks of terrifying machete robbery
A newsagent has spoken of the terrifying moment he saw robbers armed with a machete force a cash delivery driver to hand over a 'significant' amount of cash.
Jay Issa, who has owned Haslingden News on Manchester Road, in Haslingden, near Bury, for 17 years, was setting up for the day this morning (September 13) when he heard shouting outside the front door at around 8am.
When he turned to the CCTV camera he was shocked to see two balaclava-clad men brandishing weapons; later clarified by police to be a machete and baseball bat.
"The bloke had come to fill up the cash machine outside the shop, because it was empty, and all of a sudden I saw two guys go up to him," Mr Issa, 46, told LancsLive.
"I quickly grabbed the phone and rang the police and by this point they'd taken the cash off him.
"A black Volkswagen Golf then reversed quickly in front of the shop, they jumped in and they were off."
Mr Issa believes the two robbers will have made off with thousands of pounds in cash.
Around five minutes later 'what seemed like about 20 police cars turned up', the newsagent added.
"It all happened so quickly I didn't have time to be in shock, it's only just hitting me now. I'm just really relieved that nobody was hurt.
"We always say that if anyone comes in to rob the shop just hand over the money; money comes and goes but it's not worth the risk of getting hurt."
The guard was not injured during the robbery.
Cash and weapons have been seized by officers but no arrests have been made.
Rossendale Police are appealing for information and witnesses following robbery.
A statement said: "We are appealing for information and witnesses following a cash in transit robbery in Haslingden today.
"Police were called around 8.05am following a report of a robbery at Haslingden News on Manchester Road.
"A security guard had entered the shop to refill the cash machine when he was approached by two men.
"The men, wearing balaclavas and carrying a baseball bat and machete, took a cash box before making off from the scene in a black Volkswagen Golf with a third man. The guard was not injured.
"The vehicle was later found by police officers following a short pursuit in the West Yorkshire area. Cash and weapons have been seized by officers, however, no arrests have been made.
"Detectives are appealing for information and are keen to speak to anyone with information. Officers also want to speak to several people on a bus who might have witnessed the incident."
Det Insp Mark Saunders, of Lancashire Police, said: “We have launched a major investigation following a cash in transit robbery in Haslingden.
“Three men have targeted a cash delivery stealing a substantial amount of money. Thankfully the cash, as well as weapons and the vehicle involved, were recovered in the West Yorkshire area.
“We are appealing for information and are keen to speak to anyone who saw what happened. This includes a number of people on board a bus which had stopped close to the scene of the raid.
“The offenders will have been in the immediate area before the robbery. Did you see anyone acting suspiciously? If so, please contact us.”
Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting log 0260 of September 13.
Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.