The Coronation Street set was hit by real thieves while filming a dramatic armed robbery.

Corrie stars, including Simon Gregson, were filming the explosive scenes on location in Bolton when the alleged raid took place.

The thieves targeted a nearby storage unit base just before midday before making off with a generator.

An ITV spokeswoman told the Mirror: “We can confirm a small domestic generator was stolen during a low-level opportunistic theft from the unit base of filming today for Coronation Street whilst the crew were on location in Bolton.

“The programme’s cast and crew weren’t at the unit base at the time. The incident was reported to the police and filming wasn’t affected.”

Five police cars were seen racing to the scene, near Bolton Rugby Union Club.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police were yesterday called to reports of a suspected armed robbery at around 11.30am.”

In the outside broadcast, Simon Gregson, who plays taxi driver Steve McDonald, unwittingly acts as a getaway driver for a balaclava-clad thief.

Simon, who plays Steve, was a short walk away from the crew’s ‘unit base’ where the incident occurred.

The storyline will develop to see Steve questioned by police over his involvement in the theft.

His character Steve is horrified when a customer holds a garage up at knifepoint in a balaclava.