A TERRIFIED cashier was bound with tape and left shaking by masked robbers who ransacked a petrol station for cash and cigarettes.

At just after 10pm on Sunday the 24-year-old cashier was closing the Three Ways Garage, Chester Road, Helsby, when she was grabbed by a man and forced back inside the garage.

Once inside he was joined by a second masked man, who helped to bind her hands and feet with tape before ransacking the petrol station and stealing armfuls of cash and cigarettes.

Then, using the victim’s keys, the balaclava-wearing robbers fled after locking her inside while they escaped in her Toyota Yaris, which was later found abandoned around the corner in Denbigh Avenue.

This is the third time in less than 10 months that the garage has been targeted by thieves, causing the owners to improve security by putting up a till screen following a knife raid at Christmas.

The manager of the Total petrol station, Peter Rowlands, described the cashier as unhurt but ‘extremely shaken’ saying: “The two previous times were knife hold-ups, but on this occasion they were waiting for her outside.

“They forced her back inside, tied her up, took her keys and locked her in. She managed to make a phone call and I believe that her grandparents tried to contact her on the landline.

“We are trying to get staff to be more vigilant and putting double shifts on most nights.

“Some of the staff have had a family member come down to check on them after 9pm since the raid and the police have been stopping by most nights.”

Police are now appealing for witnesses to the robbery carried out by two white males thought to be in their mid-to-late twenties, wearing dark hoodies.

Anyone with information contact Chester CID on 0845 458 0000 quoting incident number 1158 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.