TWO masked men armed with large kitchen knives burst into a Burnley phone shop in a terrifying raid.

The men entered Sana Communications store in Colne Road and threatened to stab the owner and two members of staff.

But staff fought back and threw a stepladder at one of the robbers after he was trapped inside by boss Mohammad Jabar, 62.

The incident happened just before 6pm on New Year's Day.

One of the robbers ran behind the counter, waving the blade at Mr Jabar.

After failing to open the till, he grabbed an iPhone worth £300 and a Blackberry worth £100 from underneath the counter.

His accomplice, who was also brandishing a knife, then ran out of the shop and was chased by Mr Jabar.

The shopkeeper then closed the door from the outside in a bid to trap the other robber.

In a fit of panic the offender kicked through the glass panels. As he tried to escape, Mr Jabar's nephew Imran Mehmood threw a stepladder narrowly missing him.

Mr Jabar, who has run the shop for five years, said: "When they came in they were shouting and swearing.

“I was worried they were going to use the knives. We didn’t argue with them. It was very frightening.

“One of them tried to get into the till but didn’t manage it.

“There are lots of buttons on it and he didn’t know which one would open it.

“Then he grabbed an iPhone and a Blackberry from underneath the counter, and maybe another phone too.

“I recognised him and I told him ‘I know you’, which made him angry. I’ve seen him around town.

“Then he went out the shop and I went after him and closed the door from the outside so the other one couldn’t get out before the police got here.

“But he started trying to break his way out, kicking the glass in the door, smashing it until he made a big hole and then got out.”

Mr Mehmood, 27, who works in the shop, said: “I threw a stepladder at him to try and stop him smashing the glass, but I missed.

“I couldn’t try to stop him another way because I thought he might use the knife against me.

“It was very frightening. It all happened very fast, within two minutes.

“We never argue with people. Everybody knows and likes my uncle and we never have trouble.

“I would never have thought this would happen because we’ve got eight security cameras in the shop."

Mr Jabar said: “I’ve lived and worked in Burnley as a builder for 45 years. People are friendly. We’ve never had anything like this happen before.

“But we are hearing about more of these types of robberies in the area. People being threatened with knives. It is worrying.”

Sgt Martyn Holt, of Burnley Police, said: “There was a robbery on New Year’s Day between 5.50pm and 5.55pm at Sana Com in Colne Road.

“Two offenders with their faces covered entered the premises and produced a knife and threatened the shopkeeper.

“They attempted to enter the till, didn’t manage it, and stole some mobile phones before leaving through the front door.

“Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.”