CCTV footage shows the terrifying moment Middleton shoppers faced a masked gang brandishing a meat cleaver, sledgehammer, axe and even a samurai sword in a raid on a security van.
The masked thugs targeted a security van as it made a cash drop off at the Co-op on Kenyon Lane on Thursday January 15 2015 at around 12.25pm.
The gang pulled up in a silver Volkswagen Golf and threatened the two security guards who were transporting money from the van to the ATM inside the store.
They tried to steal money from the ATM but were unable to get past the security bars on the machine and the men fled empty handed.
Detective Constable Charles Stewart said: “Although these four men did not succeed in stealing any cash, make no mistake this gang were absolutely intent on causing as much fear and intimidation as possible.
“They were armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons and although they were foiled by the shop’s security measures, they are clearly dangerous individuals and we need to catch them.
“We must also remember the two security guards who were threatened with violence. This should never be dismissed as an occupational hazard – these are two hardworking men who were confronted by swords and axes and were understandably terrified they would be attacked.”
The Volkswagen Golf, which had been stolen from the Longsight area and fitted with false registration plates, was later found abandoned on Don Street in Middleton.
The only description of the men is that they were masked but Greater Manchester Police have released security footage of the incident.
DC Stewart added: “I want to appeal to anyone who witnessed either the attempted robbery itself, or perhaps the silver car being driven erratically or a high-speed to come forward.
“Or perhaps you saw a group of men hanging around the Co-op in the days leading up to the robbery? Any information you have could be vital.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.