A hammer-wielding gang of robbers forced a terrified manageress to hand over £11,500 during a dawn raid at a Shipley convenience store.

Two muscle-bound men in balaclava masks smashed a door panel then burst into the One Stop shop in Bradford Road at 6.52am – minutes before it was due to open on Saturday.

One was armed with a hammer and the woman worker was threatened until she opened the store’s safe.

She was then made to let the robbers out of a back door, where a getaway driver was waiting in a dark blue four-door vehicle.

Detectives also believe there might have been a fourth man acting as a look-out at the front of the popular shop.

West Yorkshire Police have issued descriptions of the men wanted in connection with the raid.

“One of the two men who entered the shop was about 5ft 9in wearing dark jeans and a dark long-sleeved top.

“He was very stocky and muscular,” a police spokesman said.

“The other was shorter at about 5ft 6in and also of muscular build. He wore dark tracksuit bottoms with a single white stripe and a dark long-sleeved top.

“The driver is described as about 6ft tall and also well built. All are thought to be white males and spoke with local accents.”

Investigating officers have been interviewing staff at the store and studying CCTV and traffic cameras to trace the movements of the getaway vehicle.

Appealing for witnesses, the police spokesman said: “This was a particularly nasty robbery in which a woman was threatened with a hammer.

“She believed it would be used on her if she didn’t do what the men wanted.

“This happened at a quiet time of the morning and anyone who saw individuals or vehicles acting suspiciously near the One Stop store, or who has any other information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”