Police want to speak to this man as probe into attempted knife robbery at Sunderland shop continues

Detectives hunting a knife raider who tried to rob a Sunderland store have released a picture of a man they would like to trace.

Store boss Ken Khaira, 63, fought off a man who entered his store carrying a knife, threatening staff and demanding cash.

Police want to speak to this man as part of their inquiries into an attempted robbery at a Londis store in Sunderland

Police want to speak to this man as part of their inquiries into an attempted robbery at a Londis store in Sunderland

WATCH: Moment shopkeeper fights off knife raider

Police were called to the Londis store, in Lincoln Avenue, shortly before 6.30am on Thursday, September 27, following reports of the attempted robbery.

The would-be robber, who is described as being white, aged in his 20s and wearing all black with his face covered, fled in the direction of Westgate Avenue.

As part of ongoing enquiries, Northumbria Police have now released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the investigation.

Store boss Ken Khaira

Store boss Ken Khaira

The force said: "He was known to have been in the area at the time and could assist detectives with their inquiries.

"Police have also studied CCTV footage and are keen to speak to the driver of a dark-coloured vehicle which drove down Lincoln Avenue shortly after the raid.

"The driver is believed to have had a brief exchange of words with the suspect and could have key information that could help police with the investigation."

Speaking about the raid, Ken told the Echo: "I’d just opened up the shop and was switching the Lottery machine on.

"I have someone who helps me with the papers and he was putting the magazines return box outside when the man came in.

"He came round to the corner of the counter and looks to see if anyone is there, then came back with his hand up with the knife.

"He shouted 'I have a knife, give me the money'. I kicked him in the feet and he stumbled backwards before running away.

"I don’t think he ever expected me to fight back. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before, but my instinct was to fight back. It could have been very different if he’d slashed me."

Anyone with information that could assist detectives is asked to contact 101 quoting log 160 270918 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.