A HAMMER-wielding robber wearing a Halloween mask threatened staff in a Sunderland shop before making off with hundreds of pounds in cash and cigarettes.
The raid happened at Hylton News, in Hylton Road, Pennywell, at 6.15am yesterday.
Police say the man, who was wearing a Halloween mask and a grey, hooded top, burst into the family-run store and threatened a member of staff with a hammer.
The masked raider then taking about £200 from the till and some packets of cigarettes before fleeing.
The shop’s owner, who did not want to be named, said that although the member of staff not hurt by the thief, he was very shaken by the ordeal and had to go home to recover.
Officers from Northumbria Police are now investigating the robbery.
A spokesman said: “Detectives are appealing for anyone who was in the area on Tuesday morning, and who saw anything, to get in touch.
“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who might have seen the man in the grey hooded top.
“We believe he may have been seen leaving the area on a bike around the time of the robbery.”
Extra officers were on patrol in the area around Hylton News yesterday to try and reassure residents.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference number 168 270514