THESE pictures show the moments three masked men burst into a garage and threatened a woman cashier before stashing cigarettes into a dirty bed sheet.
The terrifying raid was captured on CCTV, as the men, wearing balaclavas and dark clothing, walked into the Texaco garage on Jubits Lane, Sutton Manor.
They made verbal threats towards the female cashier and helped themselves to cigarettes from the display.
Two loaded cigarettes into the bed sheet, while the third waited by the door.
It was only when the security alarm went off that they fled in a dark grey coloured car, driven by an accomplice.
The 21-year-old victim was left shaken, but unhurt. No weapons were seen throughout the ordeal.
The crime happened last month but this week was the first time police made a public appeal for information.
Detective Constable Andrew Passey from St Helens CID said: “This was a pre-planned robbery against a lone female employee who has been left extremely shaken by what these men put her through.
“She was simply going about her usual shift when she had been confronted by them and warned not to intervene.
“They have stolen a large quantity of cigarettes and driven off in a grey Audio or Insignia type car.
“Jubits Lane is a busy road and a lot of people regularly use the Texaco garage so I am sure that someone will have seen something suspicious there at around 9pm on Friday, October 19.
“I would appeal to anyone who remembers seeing anything unusual that night to contact me as even the smallest piece of information could help us trace this gang.”
The first man is described as white, around 6ft, with a slim build and aged between 21 and 30.
The second man, who was carrying the sheet, was a similar height and build and had noticeably small hands. He was wearing a black tracksuit.
The third offender was 6ft 1in to 6ft 2in, with a stocky build. He had bright blue eyes, long eye-lashes and a prominent nose.
Call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6843 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.