POLICE are appealing to potential witnesses of an armed robbery at a village post office to come forward with information.

Two intruders - one suspected of carrying a handgun - targeted the post office at Cockfield, near Bishop Auckland, just after 5.30pm on Tuesday. (March 25)

The postmaster, who was about to close the shop for the night, was forced to open a safe and hand over a substantial amount of cash before the assailants escaped.

Detectives are keen to hear from motorists, whose vehicles were captured on a service bus camera driving past the shop between 5.15pm and 5.45pm, if they noticed anything unusual.

The vehicles are a Land Rover Defender estate, a white Vauxhall Corsa, a red Rover 200, a red Mitsubishi, a white VW Caddy van with roof bars, a Rington’s delivery van, a Daihatsu Fourtrak, a grey Ford Ka, a red Ford Focus, a blue Mazda and a silver Ford Focus.

Det Sgt Darren Phillips said: “We would like to speak to these drivers as potential witnesses, in case they have any information which might assist the investigation.”

The robbers were wearing dark clothing, with scarves covering the lower part of their faces.

The man brandishing the weapon is described as white, 6ft tall and heavily built, and aged between 35 and 40.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the serious crime team at Bishop Auckland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555111.