A shop boss says her staff have been left scared after a “terrifying” knife raid at her convenience store.
An investigation into the robbery, which saw a man carrying a large knife threaten staff at the Premier store, in Village Lane, Washington, and make off with handfuls of cigarettes, is ongoing.
A 58-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and been released on police bail.
Now the owner of the store has told of the shocking moment she was told a man entered the store and threatened to kill her staff.
Shakilah Ahmed said: “I just couldn’t believe it, I was in shock. They called to say the police where there, that there had been an armed robbery.
“One of my staff members was cleaning in one of the aisles when he walked in.
“It is really terrifying, he sees him, pulls the knife out. He’s fighting along, chasing him up the aisle.”
The offender is believed to have made off with a number of items including e-cigarettes and chocolate.
Thankfully staff were able to flee out of the back of the shop but when the man left the store he spotted a staff member and chased him up to the nearby Black Bush pub.
Mrs Ahmed, who owns the shop with her husband, added: “The staff are really anxious, they’re apprehensive to come back into work. It’s terrifying.
“Normally it would be me closing up but family reasons meant it wasn’t.
“That would have been me behind the counter. People are actually worried. In 20 years we’ve never had any problems like this.
“It’s so frightening. Everyone is in shock, people are so scared. People are coming into the store saying they can’t believe it.
“The village is such a quiet area really. We’ve had this store in the family for almost 20 years and we’ve never had anything like this.
“It scared me that whoever has done this is still on the streets. Something needs to be done to make sure the person who did this does time.
“It’s frustrating and upsetting, it could have been so much worse.”
Northumbria Police were called to the incident last Sunday night and Mrs Ahmed says they were at the store in minutes.
A spokesman for force said: “At about 9.50pm officers attended the scene where a man had entered the store with a knife, damaging the store and threatening staff.
“He made off with items including e-cigarettes and chocolate. The man made off in the direction of Abbey Road.
“Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 1020 140419 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”