A MASKED man threatened a shopkeeper before making off with of cash and cigarettes.

An appeal for information has been launched after officers were called at just after 6pm on Thursday to M.R Foods on Ormerod Street after a man had threatened a female member of staff.

The suspect had earlier asked for cigarettes and as the store worker reached for the card machine, he went behind the counter and attempted to open the till. He then demanded the store worker opened the till, before escaping with cash and cigarettes.

The suspect is described as white and aged around 30. He was wearing a white hooded top with a red Levi logo on it, dark trousers and a face mask.

Detectives are not linking this incident to a robbery at Bargain Booze in Whalley Road, Accrington, on May 4. They are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with CCTV, dashcam or mobile phone footage to come forward.

DI Kate Kennedy, of East CID, said: “This was an extremely distressing incident which has left the victim very shaken.

“Although we are at the early stage of our investigation we are on with a number of enquiries. I would ask that anybody with dashcam or CCTV covering the area at that time please check it to see if they have captured something that could assist us with our enquiries. Similarly, I want to hear from any witnesses or anybody with information about the identity of the suspect.

“I know these kind of incidents cause the public a great deal of concern and I would like to ensure residents that patrols have been stepped up in the area.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101, quoting log 1199 of May 6, 2021 or report it online Home - Lancashire Constabulary - Report Online. Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.