Robbers armed with an axe attacked a police car after smashing in to a shopping centre in Oldham.
Police officers were called to reports of an armed robbery at Town Square Shopping Centre on 25 October.
Police immediately responded and located three vehicles the group had used to drive to the shopping centre.
As officers approached the vehicles one of the cars turned and blocked the road, allowing the two others to flee.
A man from the parked vehicle then approached the officers on foot and attacked the police car with an axe before fleeing in the car.
Officers were not injured and two of the vehicles van were later recovered. No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
Detective Constable Matthew Adshead, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “It is completely shocking that not only did twelve armed men carry out such a large robbery, but they also attacked a police car with an axe, causing the officers genuinely fear for their safety.
“Thankfully no one was injured but a police car, a desperately needed resource, was taken off the street at a time when we need it the most.
“We have launched a full investigation and I would urge anyone that could help us to identify any of the offenders or locate the outstanding white Kia Sportage to please get in touch.”
Anyone with information should call police on 0161 856 8978 or 101 quoting reference number 2343 of 25/10/2018, or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Agencies contributed to this report