ARMED robbers raided cigarettes from a Uttoxeter superstore, and then abandoned and torched their getaway car on a private drive.
Detectives are now appealing for witnesses after offenders forced their way into Tesco, in Town Meadows Way.
The break-in happened at around 8.25pm on Sunday, October 6.
They stole a large quantity of cigarettes before leaving in a silver Ford Focus.
Although there were staff in the store no one was injured.
The Focus was abandoned a short while later on an access road just off the A50 island near the Racecourse pub and set alight.
The offenders transferred to a silver Audi which was later involved in a collision in Bradley Corner, near Hulland Ward, Ashbourne.
The suspects made off and colleagues from Derbyshire Constabulary’s Dog Support Unit and Air Support Unit assisted patrols with an area search but no one was located.
Inquiries established the Audi was a stolen vehicle on false registration plates.
The suspects are described as four men and possibly one woman with long hair.
They all wore dark clothing, apart from one who wore a high-vis jacket, and they all had their faces covered.
It’s believed they carried crow bars or similar items.
Anyone who witnessed the incident in Uttoxeter, or the one in Ashbourne, is asked to contact DC XXX at Staffordshire Police, quoting incident number 724 of October 6.
Alternatively, they can contact independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
The full story will appear in the Advertiser this Wednesday.