Staff were threatened by an axe-wielding robber during a shop raid.
Police are appealing for witnesses after the robbery at the One Stop shop in St George’s Road, Cullercoats.
A man entered the shop at 9.58pm on Monday, produced an axe and threatened staff and demanded cash.
An undisclosed quantity of cash was handed over and he left the shop.
Staff were shocked but otherwise uninjured.
The robber is described as a white man, over 6ft tall, possibly early 20s, thin build, with a local accent and carrying a large axe with a yellow handle.
He was wearing a scarf over his face, a hooded jacket, dark tracksuit bottoms and trainers and carrying a large black bag.
Police are appealing for witnesses, anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, is asked to contact police.
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Guy Morgan said: “Incidents of this nature, when such a weapon was threatened in a robbery, are highly unusual.
“We have additional officers on patrol in this area to reassure residents and answer any concerns they may have.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting reference number 1026 of 13/02/17 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.