FOUR masked burglars smashed their way into a pharmaceutical company and tried to steal drugs.

The men managed to get inside by smashing a window — but they were foiled by employees.

The raid happened at M&A Pharmachem in Wigan Road, Westhoughton, at 7.45pm on Monday.

After the intruders got in, they made their way to a cold storage area where tablets are kept, but quick-thinking workers blocked the door so they could not get out and called the police.

But the gang managed to force a plastic shutter to get out of the room, then fled the factory empty handed.

The raiders have not been arrested and police are appealing for information.

PC Joanne Atkins said: “The workers tried to block their exit, but they managed to get out another way and they left empty handed.

“No one was injured in the incident.

“It happened relatively early in the evening and, while it was dark, it was on a main road so drivers, residents or people walking in the area may have seen something and we urge those people to contact us.”

The company supplies a range of products including aspirin, paracetamol and co-codamol to clients from community pharmacies, retail and supermarket chains to wholesale distributors.

The company says on its website that most households will have had a product in their medicine cupboard at some time during the course of the last year. It also exports to a number of European countries and Africa. The company declined to comment on the attempted raid.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or 0161 8560958, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.