A South Shields shopkeeper has told of his terror at being robbed by a hooded raider armed with a knife, and warned: “I survived, but it could have been worse.”
Javedraja Faheem said he fears his assailant may strike again – and could leave his next victim with serious injuries.
He revealed how the incident at his Smiler's News Store at Horsley Hill, South Shields, in which the attacker made off with over £2,000, left him suffering shock.
Mr Faheem said: “It was a very frightening experience for me. When someone comes into the shop, you see them as a customer, you don’t treat them as a potential robber.
“If their behaviour changes, it affects you a lot. They don’t understand the misery they are leaving, it’s too much.
“I want this man to be caught, I hope the police find him. I was in shock at what was happening. I thank god that nothing worse happened.”
Detectives say the attacker, who struck at 9am on Sunday, walked behind the counter and confronted Mr Faheem, who has run his business for around seven years.
It is believed the shopkeeper may have grabbed the man, who he says was wielding a knife, but the assailant was able to make his escape.
Mr Faheem suffered minor injuries and praised the police for their response and subsequent support.
He added: “They have been very helpful and took very good care of me. I’m so happy that we have such people who can help us. I say this from my heart, I salute them.”
Police have described the offender as white, about 5ft 9ins tall and of thin build, and wearing jogging bottoms and a hoodie.
They say that during the attack, his face was covered by his top to hide his identity.
A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "An investigation is ongoing to determine the circumstances behind the incident and locate those responsible."
Officers have appealed for information and can be contacted on 101 quoting reference 278 170319 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.