Three men armed with a knife and an axe stole a large quantity of cigarettes from a Winsford shop yesterday (February 21).

Cheshire police are appealing for information following the armed robbery at the Co-op convenience store.

At about 7.40pm three men entered the shop on Wharton Road where they threatened staff and customers.

They stole a large quantity of cigarettes before leaving the scene in a black Audi A3 which was waiting.

The offenders were all wearing dark clothing and balaclavas. They were armed with what is believed to have been a Stanley knife and an axe.

Detective Constable Dave Walton from Northwich LPU said: “We are currently following a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this incident, including CCTV analysis, forensics and speaking to witnesses.

“As part of the investigation I’d like to speak to anyone who was in the Wharton Road area at the time of the incident and believes that they may have seen anything suspicious.

“I’m specifically keen to trace a man who was present in the store at the time of the incident.

“The man was wearing a high visibility tabard and attempted to tackle one of the offenders as they arrived at the store.

“I urge anyone with any information to contact the CID at Northwich on 101 quoting incident number 801 of 21 February 2017.”

A spokesperson for Co-op said: "We can confirm an incident took place on Tuesday evening involving three assailants.

"No staff were hurt. This is now a police matter and we ask for anyone with information to come forward."

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.