A SHOPKEEPER was sprayed in the face with a harmful substance by a man who then robbed his store.
The incident happened at the VG Food shop, in Durham Road, East Rainton.
It is believed the raider used ammonia on his victim before taking off with cash from the till.
The 45-year-old shopkeeper had to be taken to hospital but has since discharged himself.
The robbery took place at about 7.30pm on Wednesday.
Northumbria Police say the robber was white, in his early or late 20s and of stocky build.
Witnesses with any information should call Northumbria Police on the non-emergency 101 line or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.