Thousands of pounds in cash was stolen from a Wigan building society last night after thieves wielding a machete and hammer confronted security guards and made off with ATM cash.
The robbery happened at the Nationwide branch on Gerard Street in Ashton-in-Makerfield at around 6.55pm last night, January 6.
Two men from the security firm delivering the cash had gone into the building society to replenish the machine when they were confronted by the two thieves. They forced one of the guards to drop the cash box, and then fled down an alleyway at the side of the Chinese Garden Restaurant which leads to Heath Road.
Detective Sergeant Steve Baldam said: “Although they did not suffer physical injuries, this has left both security guards traumatised and shocked at the events of that afternoon.
“We need to find those responsible for this robbery so they can feel the full force of justice.”
Police described one offender as possessing a large knife or machete, while the other was reportedly brandishing some sort of hammer.
They are described as being white, one of a stocky build and around 5ft 10in, with both wearing dark clothing.
After escaping down the alleyway it is believed they got into a white Audi and drove off.
The cash box was later found discarded on Park Road in Golbourne, some three miles from the scene of the crime.
Officers found the box had been broken into and the security dye inside the box had been activated, so the stolen cash could now be stained.
Police are now appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Sergeant Baldam added: “As the box has been opened, it is possible the cash inside has been stained with dye so I would urge people, particularly businesses, to be vigilant when accepting cash that has any dye marks or residue.
“The customer may be innocent, but by telling us you could bring us that step closer to finding the culprits.
“The robbery took place in a busy location with a lot of traffic through-put and pedestrians who often use that area so there are potentially a lot of witnesses who could have crucial information. If you did witness anything then please come forward.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks