THIEVES pinned down a terrified cashier before plundering cash and cigarettes from a Billinge store.
A gang of four men burst into the Euro Garages in Up Holland Road, Billinge, after which three of them jumped over the counter and manhandled the assistant.
He was restrained while they emptied the till and also stuffed a large amount of cigarettes into a duvet cover they had brought with them.
The fourth accomplice stood by the door as a look-out before the gang fled leaving their victim physically unharmed but very badly shaken by his ordeal. It is not clear if a vehicle was used.
Police have now released two CCTV stills of two of the offenders, who struck at about 9.35pm on Friday December 30, and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
The first man pictured was wearing a black North Face coat with the hood up and dark trousers.
The other man pictured was said to be white, about 6ft tall, of a medium build and wearing a distinctive blue Under Armour thermal bob hat, a black neck warmer covering his face. This man also spoke with a strong Liverpool accent.
DC Brendan Greally from Wigan CID said: “Thanks to the CCTV the shop had installed, we have been able to reproduce two good quality images of the offenders involved.
“I would urge people to look at these images very carefully.
“The offenders pictured were wearing some quite distinctive clothing and if you know someone who wears these items, or you recognise the men pictured, then it is very important we hear from you.
“We really do need people to come forward with information.
“For the member of staff who was physically manhandled, this was a traumatic experience and the only peace of mind they can get is to see the people responsible put in jail.
“Please, if you have information then call us. We simply cannot allow members of business community to be subjected to such violence and if you can help us find these men, you will be helping make the streets safer for everyone in this community.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7352 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.