A BAKER was held up at knife-point and forced to hand over cash during a terrifying early morning raid.
The robber got away with between £80 and £90 during the shocking incident, which happened at D&M Allen Bakery, in Davison Drive, Hartlepool.
Police raced to the scene at around 6am yesterday and are now hunting the man who got away on what is described as a dark-coloured bike.
The victim, a 63-year-old man, was not available for comment, but escaped the ordeal without injuries.
A butcher who is manager of a nearby store was outside and saw a man acting “suspiciously”.
John Hay, manager of John the Butcher’s, said: “We arrive here really early on a morning to get set up. I was outside washing the windows when I saw a man dressed all in black outside the bakers.
“He was tapping on the door, but I thought he must have just been a customer. I went back inside and next thing all the sirens and the lights are outside and the police have turned up.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard what had happened, it’s frightening.
“Things like this shouldn’t be going on in this day and age. It’s very concerning for the people in the area and for us.”
The suspect is described as being white, 5ft 7in, wearing a full faced Balaclava, a black padded puffa-style jacket and black bottoms.
It is believed he left the shop, travelled down Warren Road and then on to Wells Avenue. He then entered Holdsworth Road, but his direction from there is unknown.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “Police were called at around 6am on Friday, October 28, to reports of a knifepoint robbery at a business premises on Davison Drive, Hartlepool.
“A man entered the property and demanded cash from the 63-year -old victim, who handed over between £80 and £90 from the till.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Lee Johnson, of Hartlepool Police, on (01642) 302110.