Store is hit by another raid

The  Co-Op store in Church Lane, Lowton
The Co-Op store in Church Lane, Lowton

Masked men fled with a substantial amount of money and cigarettes after another raid on a convenience store.

Intruders wearing balaclavas are said to have burst into the Co-op, in Church Lane, Lowton, at around 9.30pm on Sunday.

A Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said: “The men stole a large quantity of cash and tobacco, although we cannot confirm at this stage whether this was in solely in the form of cigarettes or hand-rolling pouches, or both.”

Detectives initially believed that a trio was responsible for carrying out the robbery but are now investigating how many actually took part.

The spokesman confirmed that no-one had been injured, as a result of the incident, and it was not known in which direction the raiders had fled.

CCTV footage is now being checked as part of enquiries and an appeal for witnesses has been issued by Wigan Police.

One nearby resident, who asked not to be named, said: “You can only think that some of these places in Lowton are targeted so often because there’s such an easy escape route for them along the East Lancs Road.”

The raid is the second attack on the Co-op this year, after a cash machine was blown up there in the early hours of September 7.

Police said that the front panel of the cash machine was blown off and it was believed that this caused a door at the premises to open, allowing thieves to get inside.

Cash was taken but there was no reported structural damage to the building.

This was the latest in a string of robberies in the Lowton area, with a branch of McColls in Newton Road targeted on Sunday, July 30.

On that occasion a masked pair are said to have threatened staff at the till before running off with cash.

Later that same day another McColls outlet, in Atherton Road, Hindley, was also subjected to a robbery, with two men jumping over the counter and threatening an assistant with a knife, before escaping with some of the takings.

Anyone with information about the latest robbery is being asked to call police on 101 with information, quoting log number 2331 of November 12, or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 5551 11.