MASKED raiders wielding a knife and a lump hammer staged a terrifying robbery at a convenience store.

Staff at the Nisa Local shop in Ashworth Lane, Astley Bridge, said the locked door was kicked open and three men wearing balaclavas entered the premises at around 6am on Thursday morning.

They ordered the store supervisor to open the safe and made off with about £700 in cash, as well as cigarettes and alcohol.

A Fiat Punto car was spotted parked in Cowley Road, along the side of the shop, around the time of the raid.

The supervisor told The Bolton News about her ordeal.

She said: “It was terrifying. It is something that’s never happened to me before.

“When you’re confronted with a situation like that, and you’re on your own, at that point you don’t know if you’re going to live or die.

“That’s the feeling that goes through you.

“You don’t know how violent they are or what they’re capable of.

“But when I was going through it all, and opening the safe, all I kept saying to them was ‘please don’t hurt me’.

“I was in a total state of shock and was just terrified, it happened so fast.”

The 56-year-old, who lives in Astley Bridge, said she was now worried about returning to work.

She said: “It has put me off working mornings and working on my own.

“I’ve cried and now I feel dizzy and numb.

“I don’t know if I’m still in shock, but I just have a feeling of wanting to stay inside.”

One shop assistant, who works alongside the supervisor said the robbery had left her feeling ‘nervous’.

She was worried that the robbers might come back.

Another assistant said: “We get worried, we are working here all the time and it does make us worry what might happen next time.”

Shop workers said a knife and a balaclava had been dropped by the robbers and recovered by police.

Customer Shelly Liptrott, aged 34, who lives in nearby Hill Cot Road, said residents were concerned about rising crime in the area.

She said: “It’s awful, it’s not the first time it’s happened, it’s quite frightening.

“The amount of stuff going on is quite scary, it’s frightening when you are bringing up kids.”

A police spokesman said: “We were called at 5.55am to reports of a robbery in Nisa in Ashworth Lane. A quantity of money and cigarettes have been stolen. Inquiries are ongoing.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.