The owner of a family-run service station has been left 'distraught' after a robber threatened two members of staff at gunpoint.

Sue Collinge told the Manchester Evening News that she was in tears when she heard that a masked man had snatched money from the till at Lees Village Service Station this morning (Friday October 15).

One of the employees threatened by the culprit is just 19-years-old, Sue confirmed.

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"I had two young ladies working and a person has come running in with a gun," she said.

"He poked it through the screen and demanded money from the till. We don't keep a lot of money on the premises, certainly not at 9am on a Friday morning.

"The poor lady was in a bit of a flap and couldn't get the till open and he's waving the gun and screaming at her. The other young girl is only 19, she's got the notes out, he's grabbed them and run out of the door.

"They were absolutely distraught and I was.

Lees village service station

"The staff are family. What he did to those two people, he may as well have done to me.

"I would do anything to protect the staff."

Sue's dad Frank Pullen built the service station up and ran it for more than 30 years.

It has become an important part of the village and as Sue spoke to the Manchester Evening News, a customer handed her a card that their child had made.

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The gesture was a testament to what the service station means to people locally and it made Sue well up.

She added: "I lost my dad three months ago so it's been a terrible few months with that, the petrol crisis and everything else.

"It's made me question whether I want to carry on. You can only be kicked so many times.

"But it's a lovely community around here. The support we've had has been amazing, everyone's so gutted with what's happened."

Sue said that police attended and downloaded CCTV of the incident.

Police are investigating the incident

A Greater Manchester Police (GMP) spokesman said: "We were called shortly before 9.10am to a report of a gunpoint robbery at a store on St John Street, Lees.

"Specialist officers attended but no suspects were found.

"Thankfully no one was injured but store workers were left understandably shaken.

"Initial enquiries at the scene have continued and an investigation is underway."

Anyone with information should contact police online, if able, or call 101 quoting incident 785 of 15/10/2021.

Details can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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