THREE masked men burst into a Runcorn pub and attacked and robbed an employee before raiding the safe.

The incident happened at The Halton Arms in Murdishaw Avenue at 12.45am on Monday, March 10.

The victim was forced into an upstairs room, assaulted and tied up and his mobile was stolen.

The gang opened a safe and stole a quantity of money.

DC Marc Roberts said: "The victim was left shaken by the ordeal. He suffered cuts and bruises as a result of the assault but, fortunately, did not sustain any serious injuries.

"We are carrying out numerous enquiries in the area, including house-to-house enquiries, forensic enquiries and CCTV enquiries and are trying to piece together as much information as possible.

"I am appealing to anyone who has any information in relation to the incident or anyone who has been in the area at the time and has seen anyone acting suspiciously to come forward.

"The pub is located on a busy route and, at that time of night, there is likely to have been a lot of people passing by."

It is believed that the offenders had entered the living quarters of the pub earlier and had waited for closing time.

An investigation has been launched and officers are carrying out a number of enquiries in a bid to trace those responsible.

Anyone with any information, which could assist officers with their enquiries, is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 41 of 10 March or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.