A MASKED knifeman stormed into an amusement arcade and grabbed a till from a horrified cashier.
The Balaclava-wearing yob marched up to the change booth inside the Golden Sands Amusements, on The Front, Seaton Carew, brandishing a knife.
He did not utter a word to the terrified 25-year-old woman behind the desk, but reached inside the glass window and yanked a cash-filled drawer from the desk.
He grabbed the tray and pulled it through the window with such force that it caused it to shake and his would-be loot ended up scattered all over the floor.
The bungling robber then fled empty handed through a side fire exit in the direction of nearby Major Cooper Court.
Shocked staff contacted police straight after the incident at 7.25pm on Sunday and the police helicopter was launched to hunt for the man responsible.
Today Hartlepool CID issued a description of the raider as being white, around 5ft 6ins tall, of heavy or chubby build, wearing dark clothing and a dark Balaclava.
Anyone who can help the investigation should contact Detective Constable Amanda Miekle, of Hartlepool CID, on (01642) 302178 or Crimestoppers on (0800) 555111.