MASKED thugs ambushed a woman and robbed her of a Wigan firework shop’s takings.
The Bonfire Night robbers struck in what was clearly a carefully pre-planned attack close to the Allsorts Discount Store in Ormskirk Road, Newtown.
The 58-year-old victim had just left the shop with its last-minute takings in a rucksack at about 8.20pm on Saturday.
She got into her car which was parked on nearby wasteground but, as she drove away, she found that her exit route had been deliberately blocked with debris.
She was about to get out to see if she could clear her path but at that point two masked men ran up to the car.
One of them tore open the front passenger door and grabbed the rucksack.
The woman tried to cling on to the bag, but the robber managed to wrestle it free from her grasp and they both ran off.
The woman was uninjured but left shocked by the incident.
It has not been disclosed how much was taken but police say it was a “substantial” sum.
And detectives now want to hear from anyone with information, in particular anyone who who may have seen a stolen car that was parked on the waste ground shortly before the attack.
The silver Lexus, registration MJ53 0BX, was parked there an hour or so before the robbery. It was found abandoned on Plane Avenue, Worsley Hall, shortly after the incident. It is not known if it was used in the robbery or not.
Det Chief Insp Howard Millington, of Wigan CID, said: “Clearly these men were lying in wait for the victim so I am confident that someone would have seen these men acting suspiciously beforehand.
“The fireworks business has now lost an awful lot of money and an innocent woman has been put through a nasty ordeal.
“If you saw anything unusual in this area – and in particular the silver Lexus before or after the incident then please get in touch.”
The victim of the crime today declined to speak publicly about the raid.
But a trader from a nearby business said: “It is very sad. They have been working hard these last few weeks and for them to be robbed of their takings on the last day must be very upsetting.”
Anyone with details should call Wigan CID on 0161 856 7252 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.