A group of 'five to six men' armed with weapons including an axe jumped security guards delivering cash to a Leeds supermarket.
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The raid took place at shortly after 7am this morning.
Security guards delivering cash to an ATM were confronted by the men.
They were threatened with violence and forced to hand over cash, West Yorkshire Police confirmed.
The offenders left the scene in a white Mercedes Sprinter van which was found abandoned and on fire a short time later in Killingbeck Cemetery.
A scene is currently in place at the petrol station and in the cemetery and enquiries are ongoing to identify the suspects, police said.
Detective Inspector Al Burns, of Leeds District CID, said: “This was a really frightening experience for the staff involved and although no-one was physically injured, they have been left very badly shaken by what happened.
“We are treating this incident very seriously and are carrying out extensive enquiries to establish the full circumstances and to identify those responsible.
“We would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the robbery itself or saw anything suspicious in the vicinity of the petrol station or involving a white Mercedes Sprinter van in the time leading up to the incident. We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have filmed the incident on their phones or who has any relevant dashcam footage.
“We would also like to hear from anyone who witnessed the offenders dumping the van in Killingbeck Cemetery a short time later and making off from there.
“We are obviously aware of the armed robbery at a post office in Swinnow Lane yesterday morning but there is nothing at this stage to suggest any link to this robbery today.”
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting log number 234 of September 4. Information can also be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.