A man armed with a stun gun stole cash and cigarettes in a robbery at a Sunderland petrol station.
The man entered the Esso service station on the Barnes roundabout on the A690 Durham Road at around 3am today, armed with what police describe as ‘a stun gun type weapon’.
He threatened the cashier and demanded they handed over cash and cigarettes before fleeing.
No-one was hurt.
He is described as being around 5ft 7ins tall, wearing all dark clothing and a balaclava and spoke with a local accent.
Enquiries are continuing into the raid and officers are keen to speak to the driver of a metallic/silver Peugeot 206cc that was parked on the forecourt at the time of the incident and who left without buying anything.
A man also came into the store around 20 minutes before the attack and left without buying anything.
Officers are appealing for the driver of the Peugeot and the man to come forward and contact them.
The garage was closed off to traffic and customers for a short time this morning.
The business has since reopened to customers.
One elderly woman, who lives just yards from the site, said: “When I got up this morning I saw a maroon car on the pavement and some police tape on the exit.
“I didn’t hear anything during the night so I don’t know what has happened to be honest.
“There’s never usually any trouble around here.”
Another woman who also lives near the petrol station said: “The place is always busy with it being open 24/7 but I wouldn’t say there has been much trouble there recently.
“I was at home last night and wasn’t aware of anything.
“I haven’t had any police come to the door to tell us what has gone on yet.”
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “At 3am this morning the alarm was activated at the service station in Durham Road after the premises had been robbed.
“Cash and cigarettes were stolen.
“A member of staff in the garage at the time was not injured in the incident.
“Enquiries are on-going.”
Any witnesses should ring Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 97 060117 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.