ARMED robbers forced their way into an Accrington petrol station in a terrifying late-night raid.
The three hooded men threatened the lone teenage attendant at Hyndburn Road's BP Supermart by forcing what police think was a gun through the night serving hatch.
The shocked attendant, a 19-year-old from Great Harwood, opened the doors after the men demanded to be let in to the 24-hour garage.
The robbers, believed to be in their mid-to-late 20s, ran around the back of the counter and stole £200 and a bundle of cigarettes before fleeing through the back door towards the Aldi car park.
The petrified attendant, who has not been named, was said to be thoroughly shaken and was sent home to recover.
The robbers were caught on CCTV cameras and a forensic study of the garage has thrown up clear finger and footwear prints.
Sergeant Paul Broxson of Accrington CID said: "Something was pointed from under one of the men's jackets and the implication is it was a gun."
But police believe the raiders may have acted on the spur of the moment.
Images of the men, caught on 10 CCTV cameras placed around the garage, have been sent off for specialist examination.
"Looking at the footage, it wasn't a professional job," said Sgt Broxson.
"We are obviously keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at about 2.10am on Wednesday when the incident happened. People may have seen the men or heard something.''
The robber who threatened the attendant is described as wearing a blue hat, a white tracksuit-style top with black stripes down each arm, dark trousers and training shoes.
His first accomplice wore a white or light-coloured baseball cap, a black puffer-style jacket and dark trousers. And the final robber wore a dark-coloured jacket, dark trousers and white trainers.
A spokesman for the petrol station said the attendant had been in fear of his life but he was unhurt. The robbers had just grabbed what they wanted and run.
The spokesman added: "We want to reassure customers that this sort of incident is quite rare and we've never had anything like it before."