TWO robbers pulled a handgun and a knife on four terrified teenagers, then stole their mobile phones and wallets.
The frightening incident happened just after 11pm in Abbeymead, Gloucester.
Police have launched uniformed and plain clothed patrols to try and catch the pair, who were on BMX bikes when they struck.
A community leader said the incident was very worrying.
The robbery happened close to Laurel Gate at around 11.05pm on Monday after the two robbers, who were on bikes, followed four teenagers from Tesco Express in Abbeymead Avenue.
They stopped the victims before one pulled out a knife and the other pulled out what was described as a black handgun.
Items including mobile phones and wallets were taken by the robbers before they made off. The victims, two aged 18 and two aged 17, were unhurt but badly shaken.
A BMX and a black and white mountain bike are believed to be the bikes used by the robbers.
The first robber was described as white, in his early 20s, 5ft 9in to 5ft 11in tall, of skinny build and wearing a light coloured balaclava or face mask, grey hooded top and black jogging trousers.
The second was described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, 5ft 7ins to 5ft 8in tall, of skinny build and wearing black clothing including possibly a tracksuit and a black scarf or bandana.
A wallet was recovered in Blaby Close, Abbeymead so it is thought the offenders travelled in that direction after committing the robbery.
Chief Inspector Neil Smith of Gloucester police said though worrying, a robbery like this is unusual in this area.
“We understand this incident will worry people but I must reassure the community that it is very unusual, in fact it is the first robbery in the entire Hucclecote and Abbey area this year,” he said.
“While the gun may have been imitation, the use of weapons is abhorrent and something that we will never allow to become the norm in our city.
“Covert and overt patrols will be happening in the area to provide reassurance and trace the offenders while our investigation continues.
“In the meantime I’m sure personal safety will be on people’s minds. We would urge everyone to review the personal safety advice available at gloucestershire.police.uk.
“I would also urge anyone who feels intimidated by any group of people to try and stay somewhere safe and call police.”
City councillor for Abbey, Norman Ravenhill, said this latest incident was worrying as it appeared to be another crime involving a knife.
The Citizen is backing calls for better education on the dangers of carrying a knife, following the death of Churchdown hairdresser Hollie Gazzard in Gloucester last week. A man has been charged with her murder.
“It’s very shocking,” Mr Ravenhill said. “It’s shocking for Abbeymead and for Gloucester – what’s happening? It’s just appalling, what’s going on?
“I hope those responsible will be caught soon.
“I am sure the police are working hard to catch those responsible and I would urge anyone who knows anything about it to contact them.
“Although the victims were shaken up, I am relieved to hear at least that they were not physically hurt.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, recognises the descriptions or has any information about the case should call 101.
This week, Home Secretary Theresa May backed calls for a zero tolerance to knife crime.