ARMED robbers pointed a gun at a have-a-go hero after attacking a security guard and making off with thousands of pounds in cash.
The masked raiders struck as two security guards were delivering cash to the cashpoint opposite the entrance to Tesco in North Burns in Chester-le-Street, on Sunday.
As the guards made the delivery, a man appeared from bushes at the bottom of an embankment.
He struck one of the security guards in the chest with a long, blunt instrument and knocked him to the ground.
The attacker made off with a five-figure sum of cash.
A member of the public gave chase, but was confronted by the suspect and another man who pointed what appeared to be a firearm at him, and warned him to get back.
Both men then continued up the embankment and escaped.
The security guard was left shaken and was treated at the scene for minor cuts and bruises after the raid at about 2.30pm.
Police were still at the scene yesterday.
Detective Chief Inspector Victoria Fuller, leading the investigation, said: “This was clearly a very distressing experience for the security guards involved and a five-figure sum of money has been taken.
“With this in mind, I would urge people to think carefully about anything suspicious they may have seen. I would like to reassure people that an investigation team are working hard and pursuing a number of lines of inquiry to apprehend those responsible.”
The first raider was 5ft 5in, stocky and wearing a blue or green coat. The second man was 6ft, medium build and wearing dark clothing. Both had their faces covered.
Police can be contacted on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.