POST offices in Widnes are on alert after the latest in a string of terrifying armed robberies in the town sparked panic among staff and customers.
Detectives in Halton are already investigating more than eight commercial robberies in the past five months in Widnes after post offices, ATM machines, bookmakers and Securicor vans were targeted by robbers.
On Tuesday a post office on Cronton Road was next on the hit list with masked raiders using a makeshift battering ram to smash down security screens as punters looked on in horror as the thugs fled with bundles of cash.
The hooded robbers were brandishing an iron bar and a steel grid which was used to smash the glass.
The post office - which also doubles up as a convenience store - has been a targeted by robbers before.
But this time the shop was full of elderly women who watched as the violence took place.
Shards of flying glass flew through the air as the two thugs hammered their way through the security glass which separate customers from post office workers.
Pensioners, as well as staff, were left in tears as the offenders helped themselves.
Police confirmed the robbers made off with a 'quantity of cash' in a burgundy coloured'02 plate Audi.
One resident, who had just called into the Post Office prior to the incident, believes the men may have waited for him to leave before they raided the store.
He said: 'I had just been inside but had to go back out. The next thing I knew they had been in and out in minutes.
Businessmen and women in the village claim the men had pinpointed the Post Office as a target in a bid to take full advantage of the Bank Holiday takings which had been cashed in early in the morning.
Anybody with information can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.