Police are hunting a raider who held a terrified shop worker at gunpoint before making off with cash.
The worker, who was alone, was left shaken when the man struck at Pall Mall News in Chorley.
An employee at the newsagents said the shop was just opening for business on Wednesday morning when the raider struck at around 7.20am.
“It was early in the morning when he opened the shop,” said the man.
“After 15 minutes, someone came in and asked for the shop owner. They told him he’s not here right now.
“The next minute he came and asked for cigarettes and said ‘you’ve not got what I want’.
“The next thing he came back with a gun.
“He gave him the money because life comes first.
“We called the police. So far they have looked at CCTV from next door.”
He said the worker in the shop at the time was only there on a temporary basis. He said the employee was threatened which left him terrified.
“He’s all right, he was shaking all the time,” said the man.
“It was the first time he had seen a gun pointed at him.
“He said he pointed it very closely and said ‘give me the money out of the till.’
“He gave it to him, about £200.”
Asked if he thought it was a real gun or an imitation, he added: “He couldn’t tell.
“It looked like a real gun but you can’t tell until they use it.
“This has never happened before, it is the first time.”
A police spokesman said the incident happened at 7.22am on Wednesday.
They said: “A man approached the shop, asked for cigarettes and then said, ‘you haven’t got the cigarettes I want’.
“The man produced what is believed to be a black metal handgun and demanded money which was handed over and left with two or three packets of cigarettes. He ran off towards Rydal Place.”
There was no description given of the raider.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on 101, or they can ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.