A TERRIFIED worker was left “shaking like a leaf” as a hammer-wielding robber raided a workingmen’s club.
Staff watched in horror as the man walked into the venue at 1.30pm and began smashing fruit machines and grabbing the cash.
The incident happened at Red House Working Men’s club in Rawmarsh Road, on Saturday.
The club secretary, who didn’t want to be named, was in the upstairs office of the club at the time with a fellow official and a visitor.
He said: “There wasn’t anyone around because it was quiet at that time.
“We heard a lot of banging downstairs and at first we thought a fight had broken out, so we thought we’d better head down to see what was going on.”
When the secretary got to the top of the stairs he could see the man, aged around 35-40, hitting the games machines with a hammer, getting the coins out and putting them in a bag.
Luckily there was no-one in the entrance hall where the machines are.
The secretary, who says there might have been up to £700 in the machines, said they stayed well back and called the police.
He added: “It was quite frightening to be honest. I was shaking like a leaf.
“This is the second time there has been a robbery at the club.
“The other was about five or six years ago.
I know the machines are in a bad place, but where else are we supposed to put them?”
A police spokesman said they are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have been in the area around that time and seen anything suspicious.
The spokesman said: “This man threatened staff and stole a quantity of cash from the fruit machines before leaving the premises. Staff were shaken, but otherwise unhurt.”
Anyone who has information should contact Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.