A YOUNG girl was left “in a puddle of tears” as a security guard was threatened during a terrifying attempted raid at Tesco Express in Leigh.

Simon Blackledge, 38, has revealed how he was trapped in the shop, in Leigh Broadway, with his two children – eight and three – on Saturday night as a man and woman attempted to escape with stolen goods.

According to Simon, a man involved in the “attempted robbery” threatened to stab a security guard who confronted the pair.

As the incident unfolded, at roughly 9.30pm, Simon and his children took shelter down an aisle as his daughter suffered a “full on panic attack” and was hyperventilating and crying.

Once they returned home, his eight-year-old daughter said she was “traumatised” by the incident, which has prompted an Essex Police probe.

He said: “The male who was trying to steal shouted something which basically meant he was going to stab the security guard, which escalated it.

“Luckily my boy was asleep but my daughter had a full on panic attack.

“She gets very nervous because she had an incident when she was two where a woman tried to grab her on the High Street.

“She started to hyperventilate and was crying because she thought there was nowhere left to go.

“I tried to calm her down while also making sure I was aware of what was happening.”

Following the incident, Simon and his daughter stayed and helped staff clear up the aisle which had been trashed during the confrontation.

“She was pretty shaken up and burst into tears when she reached home and told us she was traumatised,” said Simon.

“Its sad that things like this are becoming more common and unfortunately it seems to be getting worse.”

Essex Police has confirmed an investigation is under way.

A spokesman said: “We were called to a disturbance at a Tesco store in Broadway, Leigh, shortly before 9.50pm on Saturday.

“It was reported a man and a woman had been involved in a theft, leaving the shop after becoming aggressive and threatening staff.

“If you have any information or footage which could assist us, please get in touch.”