LOCAL smokers have been warned that black market tobacco they are offered might be from a violent Wigan robbery.
Pall Mall and Mayfair cigarettes were snatched in a raid on Lowton Co-op on February 24 when two masked men armed with a handgun and axe menaced three staff.
The victims were ordered to the floor when the raiders plundered cash and tobacco which were stuffed into a duvet cover. The pair the fled towards the East Lancashire Road in a stolen gold Renault Megane which was later found abandoned on the A580 between Atherleigh Way and the Greyhound Roundabout.
The gunman was stocky, about 6ft tall and wearing a black balaclava with two eye holes cut out, cream coloured tracksuit bottoms and a light coloured jacket. The axeman accomplice was slim, 5ft 10in tall, wearing a black balaclava and dark clothing.
DC Suzanne Rigby, of Wigan CID, said: “I would ask people to be on their guard and if they are offered Pall Mall or Mayfair cigarettes, then these could be the cigarettes stolen so please call police immediately and help us bring these men to justice.”
Anyone with information should call Wigan CID on 0161 856 7295.