Police are hunting an armed robber after he attempted two Sunderland shop raids in the space of 15 minutes.
At just after 4pm today, police received a report of an attempted robbery at Hylton Post Office and Costcutters, in Railway Terrace, South Hylton.
A man approached the counter, armed with a kitchen knife, and demanded cash from staff.
He made off empty handed leaving staff shaken but unharmed.
The man then left the store in a small blue car in the direction of Pennywell.
At 4.15pm, police received a further report of an attempted robbery at William Hill, in Hylton Road, Millfield, near to the Willow Pond pub.
The offender again demanded money from the counter while holding a knife.
When refused cash he left the store.
Staff were also left shaken but unharmed as a result of the incident.
The offender, believed to be responsible for both offences, is described as a white man, approximately 5ft 11ins tall, aged 30 to 35 years, heavy build with dark hair and unshaven.
Detective Inspector Dave English said: “We’re appealing for witnesses to come forward, anyone who was in the area when either incident occurred is asked to contact police.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101.