A sword-wielding robber slashed the coat of a defiant shop assistant before making off empty-handed.
Police say three men targeted the US Foodstore on Wargrave Road, Newton-le-Willows, at about 10.20pm last Thursday (October 31).
One of them stayed outside, another held the door open and the third demanded cash from the terrified shop assistant while brandishing a black sword.
When the shop assistant bravely refused to hand any money over the offender swung the sword at his arm - slashing his coat.
All three crooks then ran off empty handed.
Luckily, the shop assistant was not injured but was left very shaken following his ordeal.
DC Roy Waller, of St Helens CID, said: “This was a horrifying incident which left a shop worker who was just going about his daily business badly shaken up. The sword cut his coat just inches from his face and he’s very lucky not to have been seriously hurt, or even killed.
“The offender was clearly willing to use a weapon and showed a complete disregard for the consequences of his actions. It’s now vital that all the men responsible are brought to justice and an investigation is underway.”
The sword-wielding offender and the man who was holding the door open are both described as white and about 5ft 8ins tall.
Both had slim builds, had their faces covered and spoke with local accents.
Crime scene investigators have since examined the scene and house-to-house inquiries carried out.
CCTV footage from the shop and the surrounding area is also being reviewed.
Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area that night, or who has any information, can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6038 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.