Armed raid on shop

A MASKED robber threatened shop staff with a knife before snatching cash from a till during a terrifying night-time robbery.

Hartlepool Police are investigating after the robber burst into the McColl’s store, in Murray Street, Hartlepool.

Officers say a man wearing a dark woollen hat and a scarf pulled over his lower face brandished a knife at a male and a female member of staff.

The suspect then demanded they open the till before he fled with cash.

Police say the man was seen hanging around the store for at least half an hour before the frightening attack happened, at around 8pm yesterday.

Inspector Bernie Hanson, of Hartlepool Police, said: “A male has brandished a knife at staff. He has told them to open the till, reached in and taken the money.

“He hasn’t offered a huge amount of violence, but at the end of the day it is not pleasant having someone with a knife standing over you and telling you to open a till.

“Somebody must have seen him outside the store before he went in.”

The knife used is thought to have been a razor-sharp carpet knife and the man is said to have made off on a small green BMX in the direction of Hart Lane.

The store was closed last night while scenes of crime officers carried out an examination of the area and CCTV images were being checked.

The suspect is described as being around 5ft 6ins-tall, of slim build and wearing a tan-coloured and black scarf around his face, a black woolly hat with the words ‘The North Face’ on it, a blue or black Berghaus jacket and black adidas trousers with a stripe down the side and a white bar across the back of the calf.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Hartlepool Police on (01642) 326326 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.