A SHOPOWNER was threatened with a lump hammer, bundled into a toilet and attacked during an armed robbery in Wigan.
The 34-year-old man was attacked at about 4.30am on Saturday as he was opening his shop, the Thoroughgood Stores on Warrington Road in Platt Bridge.
After opening the metal shutters at the front of the shop, one of the offenders, who was armed with a lump hammer, grabbed him from behind and then forced him forward and inside the shop.
The man turned round to see two other men entering the shop before being bundled into the toilet and punched in the ribs and stomach.
The thieves then stole a substantial amount of cigarettes, spirits and cash from the till and then fled.
All three offenders were described as wearing dark clothing and balaclavas and spoke with local accents.
Police are now investigating and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward.
Detective Constable Stuart Woodhead said: “This man had only bought the shop three months ago and should have been welcomed into the community but instead the offenders have took it upon themselves to target him and subject him to a violent assault.
“So distressed was the victim that when he contacted the police he could be heard throwing up. It is unthinkable for the majority of people to be attacked at their place of work and clearly this man is extremely upset he has been set upon in this way.
“We need to find these offenders as soon as possible and before they can strike anywhere else so I would appeal to anyone who has information to come forward.
“In particular, if you’re offered cigarettes or alcohol on the cheap from anyone other than an licensed dealer then please call us immediately as you could have vital information that will help us trace those responsible.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0161 856 7292 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555