Two “ruthless” masked thugs burst into a St Helens petrol station and threatened staff before emptying the store’s cigarette stall and cash register into large plastic bin.
The pair then escaped after forcing the two female shop assistants into the back office of the store on Jubitts Lane in Sutton.
Police say the two offender then sped off in a small silver Ford Kuga, which was parked in the forecourt, as close as possible to the entrance, and being driven by a third suspect.
The incident happened at around 8.30pm on Wednesday, January 6.
Detectives say no weapons were produced during the raid but the female workers were both threatened.
It is believed the gang drove off towards Wilmere Lane in Widnes.
Staff then pressed a panic alarm, alerting police.
Det Con Roy Waller, from St Helens CID, said: “Two local women have been targeted by ruthless offenders who intimidated them while they were just doing their job so it is really important that people come forward with information that could help us.
“The use of a large plastic black bin is really unusual, especially when it had been hidden in the boot of a small Kuga-style car so I’m hoping this may have caught someone’s attention.
“The offenders may have bought this bin quite recently so anyone who remembers seeing anyone putting a bin like this into a small silver car in the hours or days before the robbery may be able to help us.
“The robbery happened when the forecourt of the Texaco was quiet but this was not late at night and many people will have been driving along Jubits Lane at 8.30pm last Wednesday, which was most people’s first week back at work following New Year, and may remember seeing the offenders or the car.
“Robberies such as this will not be tolerated by Merseyside Police and we will do everything we can to catch the offenders. These women were simply doing their job and have been left upset but thankfully unhurt by what has happened and I need people to help us identify who these men are so we can bring them to justice.”
Anyone with any information should call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6013 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.