POLICE are investigating two knife raids on shops within hundreds of yards of each other in South Tyneside.
A man brandished a knife at a female shopkeeper at Allan’s Corner, in Black Road, Hebburn.
Police say the man entered the shop at lunchtime yesterday and asked for a packet of cigarettes and some alcohol.
When the items were placed on the counter, the man pulled out a knife and fled with the stolen goods.
A police spokesman said: “The man brandished a knife at the female shopkeeper before leaving the shop with the items.
“No one was injured in the incident, which was reported to us at 12.50pm. We are now looking at CCTV footage.”
In a second incident, just a few hundred yards away, a man again brandished a knife at staff at Auckland Road Discount Store, in Auckland Road, Hebburn, at 5.50pm.
This time, no goods were stolen and the man made off. No one was hurt.
A police spokesman added: “Because of the close proximity of the premises, we are looking at a possible connection between the two incidents, but we cannot make a definite link at this stage.”
A man in his early 20s was arrested shortly after the second incident and is currently helping police with their inquiries.
Police have not issued any descriptions of anyone they are looking for.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.