Updated: Friday, 5th June 2020 @ 4:07pm

Masked gang threaten to cut off 17-year-old girl's head with meat cleaver in Middleton shop raid

Masked gang threaten to cut off 17-year-old girl's head with meat cleaver in Middleton shop raid

| By Liam Geraghty

Thieves held a meat cleaver to a 17-year-old girl’s throat during a terrifying botched daylight robbery in Middleton last Sunday.

One robber threatened to behead the girl – a shop assistant at Martins on Kirkway, Middleton – if she did not hand over cash from the till at about 1.30pm or 1.40pm on May 11.

The thieves were eventually chased off by a customer and left empty-handed. No-one was physically injured as a result of the robbery, although the young girl was described as ‘shaken up’ by police.

Greater Manchester Police Detective Constable Dan Daly said: "As you can imagine, these girls are extremely traumatised by what happened.

“For someone to hold a meat cleaver to a teenage girl's neck and threaten to attack her underlines just how cowardly and violent this gang is and we need to catch them.

"Thankfully no-one was physically injured, and because of the bravery shown by a member of the public who gave chase, this gang's violent actions were largely in vain as they dropped the money.

"However, the fact they were empty-handed should in no way diminish the seriousness of their actions and the harm and intimidation they subjected three innocent young women to.

The robbers demanded the till be opened and the thief brandishing the meat cleaver held the weapon to the 17-year-old's neck, before threatening to cut her head off if she did not open the till.

The unarmed robber ripped the till out and the three offenders fled, leading to a brief confrontation with a man who was just going into the store.

This man, 68, chased after the gang and although they got away, they did drop the till as they fled.

The girl and two other shopworkers, both girls one aged 17 and the other 18, were on duty when a gang of three men burst into the store. One of the men was carrying the meat cleaver, another had a large knife and the third man was unarmed.

The first offender is described as being 18-20-years-old, about 5ft 8in tall, of an average build and wearing a dark-coloured zip-up tracksuit top with matching tracksuit bottoms, believed to be Nike branded. He also had either a balaclava or scarf to mask his face.

The second offender was white, 5ft 10in tall, of a skinnier build and also wearing a dark-coloured tracksuit and either a balaclava or scarf to mask his face. The final offender was white, 5ft 8in tall and had a more muscular build. He was wearing a similar outfit to his two accomplices.

"We need to catch these men so I would appeal to anyone who has any information whatsoever to come forward,” said Detective Constable Daly.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Image courtesy of chefgiovanni via Youtube, with thanks