A MASKED robber armed with a brick and a metal pole was scuppered by a quick-thinking shop worker.
The thug burst into Lifestyle Express, in Ethel Terrace, Castletown, and threatened shopkeeper Shyam Mohan Galanki.
Holding a brick in one hand and the metal pole in the other, the raider came at Shyam and demanded cash from the till.
Despite only looking after the shop while the owners are on holiday, the Sunderland student leapt into action.
As the balaclava-clad robber raided the till, Shyam grabbed the shop keys, ran outside and pulled down the shutters, trapping the man inside.
A taxi driver parked near the shop phoned police but the thug managed to smash his way out and flee the store.
“I’ve never been in that kind of situation before,” he said. “I was shutting the shop when it happened.”
“He came at me with the brick in one hand and the pole in another and told me to take the money out of the till.
“At first I tried to stop him but I didn’t want to get in a fight as I didn’t want my family to suffer.
“I managed to shut part of the shutter while a taxi driver called the police.”
The robber, who was dressed all in black and is around 5ft 10, managed to smash through a glass panel in the door before running away.
He snatched £350 in cash as well as some spirits and eight packets of cigarettes.
No one was injured in the incident.
Officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area and saw what happened or anyone suspicious.
Patrols have also been stepped up in the area to reassure residents.
The robbery took place on Tuesday at about 10.30pm on Tuesday.
Any witnesses should contact Northumbria Police on 101 ex 69191 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.