TWO masked men armed with crowbars punched two workers in the face and stole cash in a terrifying raid on a Tarporley bank.

The robbers, who were wearing balaclavas and dark clothing, targeted NatWest bank in High Street at 12.10pm yesterday.

They viciously attacked the two male staff members, who were later treated at the scene for cuts to the face, before stealing cash from the tills and fleeing.

At 12.30pm, officers discovered a car on fire in a nearby field and are investigating whether the vehicle was used by the robbers.

Cheshire Police spokeswoman Jacqui Hanson said: “Police believe the offenders may have left via fields at the rear of the bank and are asking anyone who may have seen anything of relevance to contact them.

“A report was received of a car on fire in a field near to the Tarporley Roundabout at the junction of the A51 and A49.

“Police are looking at the possibility this vehicle may have been used by the offenders at some point and are keen to speak to anyone who may have seen a car driven onto or parked on the field at any point.”

A NatWest spokesperson said: “We are aware of an incident which occurred at the NatWest Tarporley branch on Tuesday afternoon and are liaising with Cheshire Constabulary about this matter.”

Anyone who can provide any information which could assist officers investigating the robbery is asked to contact Chester CID on 0845 458 0000, quoting incident number 329 of June 8.