Four masked men brandishing an arsenal of weapons were foiled in their bid to rob a cash-in-transit van in Middleton.
The gang were armed with a sledgehammer, a meat cleaver, an axe and a small Samurai sword when they targeted the security van as it made a cash drop-off at the Co-op store on Kenyon Lane.
It happened at about 12.25pm on Thursday 15 January 2015.
The van pulled up and one of the security guards remained inside while the other made several trips to and from the van to the automated telling machine (ATM) inside the store.
At this point, a silver Volkswagen Golf travelling at some speed skidded to a halt and the gang of four masked men got out.
After threatening the two security guards, the gang tried unsuccessfully to get their hands on the cash but were thwarted as they could not break through the security bars protecting the cash machine.
They then got back into the car and fled empty-handed. The Golf, which was later established to have been stolen from the Longsight area and fitted with false registration plates, was found abandoned on Don Street in Middleton.
Police are now appealing for witnesses.
The only description of the offenders is that they were masked.
Detective Constable Charles Stewart said: “Although these four men did not succeed in stealing any cash, make no mistake this gang were absolutely intent on causing as much fear and intimidation as possible.
“They were armed to the teeth with an arsenal of weapons and although they were foiled by the shop’s security measures, they are clearly dangerous individuals and we need to catch them.
“We must also remember the two security guards who were threatened with violence. This should never be dismissed as an occupational hazard – these are two hardworking men who were confronted by swords and axes and were understandably terrified they would be attacked.
“I want to appeal to anyone who witnessed either the attempted robbery itself, or perhaps the silver car being driven erratically or a high-speed to come forward. Or perhaps you saw a group of men hanging around the Co-op in the days leading up to the robbery? Any information you have could be vital.”
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or the Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.