Masked armed raiders threatened staff in a lightning raid on a busy store.
They struck at the Tesco Express shop in Dewsbury last night, shouting at staff to “Stay back” before escaping with a large amount of cigarettes and cash from the tills.
Police said the raid happened very quickly and have urged customers and other potential witnesses to come forward.
No-one was hurt but Det Insp Ian Thornes, of Kirklees CID, said: “It was very frightening for the staff”.
The thugs struck between 6.10pm and 6.20pm last night at the store, which opened months ago at the former Whistler pub in Leeds Road.
Two of the robbers ran in and vaulted over the cigarettes counter, while the third, carrying a large spanner, stood by the door as a lookout.
Det Insp Thorne said: “One of the men who got behind the counter had some sort of tool or metal implement and forced open cash drawers on the tills.
“They also grabbed a large number of boxes of cigarettes from the display behind the counter.
“One member of staff tried to edge towards the door but was threatened, and others were told ‘Stay down, get back’.
“It all happened very quickly and they were obviously desperate men”
The raiders ran from the store back on to busy Leeds Road and are thought to have driven off in a car parked nearby.
All three robbers had their faces masked or covered but detectives have released detailed descriptions and are studying CCTV images.
One man was wearing a white jacket with black piping, a black hooded top, a white scarf and gloves, black jogging bottoms and black trainers.
A second had a black hooded top pulled up, a blue scarf over his face, grey jogging bottoms and black trainers.
The third man, with the spanner, had a blue scarf or towel over his face, a black jumper, dark blue jogging bottoms, and white and black gloves.
Anyone with any information should contact Kirklees CID via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.