ROBBERS targeted a town centre pawnbrokers in a terrifying raid.

It is understood that two men, armed with a sledgehammer and an axe, tried to rob the Albemarle Bond pawnbrokers shop in Corporation Street at about 3.15pm yesterday.

It is not clear whether they went inside the shop or whether they were chased away by security guards before they entered it.

Police were not able to confirm whether any damage was caused or if anything was taken.

Staff at neighbouring shops were shocked to hear what had happened. One, who asked not to be named, said: “I had no idea that there was a robbery — and I was here at the time, totally oblivious to what went on.”

The shop was closed yesterday afternoon and jewellery had been removed from the window.

Police were at the scene, but there was no obvious signs a robbery had taken place.

Staff at the shop refused to comment about what happened. Bolton CID is investigating the robbery.