Staff were ordered to lie on the floor at gunpoint by three masked robbers who targeted a Leighton Buzzard shop on Sunday morning.
Bedfordshire Police is appealing for information regarding the raid at the Co-Op store in Clarence Road just after the store opened at 7am.
The three offenders, one carrying a small black handgun, entered the shop. The man with the gun threatened a staff member and demanded he open the till, and the three staff members were told to lie on the floor whilst the culprits took a quantity of cash, cigarettes and alcohol.
Two of the men left the store in an unknown direction, and the third is believed to have turned right towards Plantation Road.
Two of the men were described as black, of medium build, and wearing black Puffa jackets with white zips. The gunman is described as a light-skinned black man, of medium build, and wearing a black, shiny Puffa jacket.
All three men had the hoods of the coats up, and were wearing balaclavas obscuring their faces. In addition, two are thought to have deep voices with local accents.
Detective Mandy Godfree, investigating, said: “This was a distressing incident in which three members of staff were threatened at gunpoint. We are following a number of lines of enquiry and are keen to speak to trace the men involved.
“If you were in Clarence Road early yesterday morning and saw anything suspicious, or saw anyone matching the description of these offenders, please get in touch, as any information could be vital in our investigation.”
Contact police on 101 quoting reference 96 of 9 December, or use the online reporting centre.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Another Co-Op store in Leighton Buzzard was targeted by criminals last week.
At just before 4am on Monday, December 3 police were called to a report of a break-in at the Co-op in Stanbridge Road.
Three men broke into the store by smashing the glass front door before making off with a large quantity of alcohol. Police say they are not linking the incidents at this time.
Anyone with any information should contact police quoting reference 40/41554/18.