A TOWN centre pawnbrokers has been forced to close following an armed burglary.

Two men armed with crowbars forced their way into H&T Pawnbrokers in Newport Street at around 9.30am, and threatened staff.

It is as yet unknown if anything was stolen during the raid.

A heavy police presence was noted in the town centre this morning, and staff from nearby shops reported seeing the two masked men enter the pawnbrokers before smoke started coming from the outlet.

Fire and ambulance crews are also understood to have been in attendance.

Inspector Moore from Greater Manchester Police said: "Police were called to the premises at 10.45am to information that two unknown men, who had crowbars, had forced their way into the shop and threatened staff.

"No injuries were sustained by any of the staff and police enquiries are ongoing."

Following the incident the shutters on the pawnbrokers have been put down and a sign outside says that the shop will be closed until Monday "due to technical problems".

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

More to follow...