Police remain at the scene following an armed robbery at the Betfred, in Ellison Street, Jarrow.
At about 8pm on Tuesday, July 9, police received a report that a man had entered the bookmakers and threatened the shopkeeper before making off with cash from the till.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “The man was described as wearing a khaki colour top and dark trousers and was carrying what is believed to be a homemade weapon. He threatened the shopkeeper and demanded she empty the contents of the till.
“The offender is believed to have taken a quantity of cash before making off from the scene.”
Officers attended the scene and inquiries are ongoing.
A 58-year-old man, who had been drinking in the Ben Lomond pub, said: “All I saw was a load of coppers around Betfred and I assumed it had been done because there’s nothing else open at this time of night.
“Then I went home and read about it on Facebook. I think there were five police vehicles outside. I’m not surprised it’s happened in a town like Jarrow.
“I think it’s bad for the staff, they put up with a lot of bother and now they’ve been robbed as well – it’s just not on.”
Other drinkers said they spotted someone running from the shop.
The shopkeeper was unharmed and no one was else is believed to be injured.
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting reference 945 090719.