POLICE are hunting a gang of men armed with crowbars after a £17,000 armed robbery in Hampshire.

Two female employees at the Co-op store in Nursling street, Nursling, were opening up when they were confronted by a group of masked men.

Police say the raiders entered the store and threatened staff with crowbars.

No-one was hurt but the men made off with with around £5,000 in cash and cigarettes valued at £12,000.

A police spokesman said: "The two female members of staff described the men as being white and aged in their twenties."

Officers are trying to establish if the robbery is linked to any of the other raids that have occurred at convenience stores in the Southampton area in the past few weeks.

The latest robbery took place just before 6am on Monday.

Anyone with any information should call Det Con Simon Murray at Southampton Central Police Station on 101, quoting crime reference number 44180065463.