A busy Hartlepool convenience shop has been targeted in a robbery.
The town's MP Mike Hill has said he hopes the staff of the McColl's shop in Elwick Road, close to the junction of Baden Street, are recovering from the ordeal, which happened earlier this evening.
He told the Mail: "I know the police were quickly and swiftly there.
"It's an awful thing to happen in Hartlepool and rare in Hartlepool as well.
"I hope whoever is responsible is caught quickly."
He added the shop had been put on lock down by the police after they arrived at the shop.
He told his followers on social media: "Terrible armed robbery tonight.
"Hope all staff are well.
"Police very quick on the scene.
"Robbers are on the run. They need to be caught."
Cleveland Police declined to give details of the incident when contacted by the Mail.
Anyone with information which could help officers can contact 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.