STAFF were left shaken after being held up by two masked men during an armed robbery at a wholesalers.

Four members of staff at Booker wholesale in East Worthing were closing up at the premises in Southdown View Road at around 5.30pm on December 23, when they were approached by two men possessing firearms.

They held the staff and started to load bulk quantities of cigarettes into a Mercedes van, but made off from the scene on foot when they were disturbed by police, leaving their vehicle and the stolen goods behind.

Detectives are appealing for information to trace the two suspects.

One raider is described as 5'11", of skinny build, wearing a black balaclava, dark coloured top, black shiny tracksuit bottoms and black trainers in a knitted fabric with a white letter on the side and white soles.

The second suspect is described as 5'11", of skinny build, wearing a white or cream face covering, a light grey hoody pulled tight around his face with a draw cord, dark coloured trousers or jeans in a tight fit, and white high-top trainers.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Tom Hawkins, of Worthing CID, said: "Despite an extensive area search, there was no trace of the suspects and we are now appealing for the public's assistance.

"If you saw what happened or have any information about the incident, please come forward.

"The members of staff were understandably shaken by the incident, but thankfully unhurt."

Anyone with information can report it to police online, call 101, quoting Operation Barnstable, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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