Police are hunting a knifepoint raider who escaped with a cash box after threatening a security guard in South Shields town centre.
The attack happened in King Street, just outside Barclays Bank, at 11.45am, yesterday, in front of dozens of shocked shoppers.
The robber, believed to be with a second man, ran off with a cash box, leaving the G4S security guard shaken but uninjured.
A police cordon was thrown around the crossroads where King Street meets Ocean Road, while a police van was stationed outside the bank.
A number of police cars were also seen in the area as shoppers spoke of their concern for the security guard and disgust for the robbers.
Nearby businesses were quick to help officers offering them the opportunity to look at cameras covering the area,
I don’t know what they must have been thinking as I’m sure they use dye of somesort on those boxes.Shopper
The man is described as being 6ft tall and of slight build. He was wearing a blue bobble hat, and was believed to be with a second male.
Inquiries are ongoing and people with information are asked to contact police.
One shopper said: “I was talking to someone earlier, he said the security guard was threatened with a knife.
“The robber ran away with a cash box and into a car or a van that was waiting for him round the corner.
“I saw the securuty guard after it happened and he didn’t look hurt, he was shaken though.
“I don’t know what they must have been thinking as I’m sure they use dye of somesort on those boxes.
“From the sounds of it, it sounds like it was planned to have someone waiting for him.”
Another shopper said: “We saw the police tape and someone told us what had happened. It makes you sick someone would do this.
“Hope the police catch whoever did this.”
Area Risk Consultant for G4S Cash Solutions, Duncan Watson said: “One of our cash crews was the victim of a vicious attack during a routine service on King Street in South Shields. Fortunately our colleague has not suffered any serious injuries but understandably has been left very shaken by the attack.
“We are working closely with Northumbria Police and I would urge anyone who may have been nearby and seen this attack to get in touch with the police or dial 101 so that those behind it can be brought to justice.”
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “At 11.45am police received a report a security guard was approached by a male outside Barclays Bank, King Street, South Shields. The man threatened the security guard with a knife, and was able to make off with the cash box being carried by the security guard.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.