THIS is the dramatic moment when masked armed robbers fled after raiding a Rishton convenience store this morning.

The video shows two masked men leaving the High Street shop, locally known as Whiteheads, with a bag said to contain cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol and a quantity of cash.

They are seen to make their way down High Street before escaping around 10am.

A brave eye-witness, who captured the dramatic footage, said: “I was just at the cash machine when I saw the two lads with scarves over their faces looking in the betting shop doorway and then they passed me.

“I felt very uneasy and uncomfortable as I was doing my transaction.

"I was shaking wondering what I could do for the best. 

"I saw them go into the shop and then I heard a scream from inside so I told someone to call the police and I started filming on my phone for evidence.

"I stood back, warning people not to go in.

"They went down a side street and they dumped the stuff next to a parked car so I picked it up and gave it to the police so they could finger-print it.”

A police spokesman said: "A man is reported to have entered the shop armed with a knife and threatened the shop keeper.

"Enquiries are on-going."

Abdul Khan, the manager of Rishton Mini Market, said his staff were threatened at knife-point before two men left with £300 cash, cigarettes, tobacco and vodka from the shop.

Mr Khan said:  “My staff phoned me this morning and said that there were two men carrying a knife who had come in and said they’re robbing the place.

“When I came in to the shop after being told about what happened, there were police there checking over the CCTV.

“Apparently one of the men had a gun but I didn’t see that on the CCTV.

“They took £300, some cigarettes, tobacco and vodka from the shop.

“One of the men was screaming at the staff behind the till and put the knife on their throat and said give me the money.

“Another staff member was on the shop floor and they asked what was going on, and the other man had them on the floor and asked them where the safe was.

“They were both wearing scarves across their faces.

“There were three staff in the shop overall at the time of the incident.

“The two men just entered the shop at around 9.40am and demanded money from the till to the staff at knife point.

“I feel sorry for the staff, as they’re all young people and had just come in to do a normal day of work and they had to endure this.

“It’s a big shock and an absolutely dreadful thing to happen.

“Everyone in Rishton is asking what is going on, as I’ve had lots of people call me on there’s a lot on Facebook also.

“There were also armed police and police cars and police vans everywhere but I think the police know who these men are, so hopefully they’ll be caught.”

Another eyewitness said: “We had a customer who phoned up who said she’d seen two men cross the road as she got out of the car.

“She noticed one had something in his hands, a knife probably.

“She also saw they had a headscarf on their faces, and that they were carrying a bottle of vodka and a bag of something else.

“It’s a real shock as Rishton is a  close-knit community and you don’t expect things like this to happen here.”

Reports from eye witnesses said two men were seen running away from the shop.

The eyewitness said: “Two skinny lads, with masks over their faces and carrying a really large knife, came running out of Whiteheads with a bag filled with what looked like cigarettes and two bottles of vodka.

“They ran down the street and then ducked down a side street, next the Ray’s discount shop, and then into someone’s house.”

This comes just days after three armed attackers, brandishing a hand gun and sword, raided the Spar store in Oswaldtwistle on Tuesday night.

Anyone with any information should contact the police on 101 quoting log 289 of August 11.