AN ARMED robber grabbed a customer and threatened her with violence during a terrifying raid at a Sheffield shop.
Police said the raider put the woman in a headlock while threatening her with a knife as she was waiting to be served at the Co-op supermarket in Westfield.
The robber barked demands at two women working behind the counter, ordering them to hand over money.
He was given a small amount of cash and fled without injuring his hostage.
Detective Constable Andy Thompson, who is investigating the incident, said: “The customer was extremely upset at what happened to her.
“She was totally oblivious to what was going to happen - she was stood at the counter when he came in and grabbed hold of her around her head with one arm while threatening her with a knife with the other, while making his demands to the staff.
“It is lucky that nobody was injured during the incident.
“We are treating it seriously and pulling out all the stops to try to trace the offender.”
The raider was wearing a beanie-style hat, which was pulled down over his face to try to conceal his identity.
He is described as white, of average build and about 5ft 9in. He was wearing dark-coloured clothing and gloves at the time.
In another raid in Sheffield, a shop owner was attacked by a robber wielding a bat.
The offender tried to rob the Fife Stores, Fife Street, Wincobank, on Wednesday, at about 6.30pm.
Mazhar Ali, who has run his business for four years, said the robber shouted ‘give me money.’
Mr Ali, aged 47, said he was frightened initially but challenged the robber and managed to disarm him.
“He came up to me and said ‘give me money’. I asked him what he meant and that’s when he got his bat out and tried to get behind the counter. I said ‘no’ and he hit me with it. When he tried for a second time I managed to get it off him and he ran off.
“It was frightening for a few seconds, but then I thought there was no way he was getting my money. I work hard for that.”
There was another robbery at the nearby Wincobank Off-Licence and Mini Market, Wincobank Avenue, the same day. A man tried to smash his way through a security partition to get to the cash, but fled empty-handed when he was challenged.
A man in his 40s has been charged with both raids and remanded in custody.
Det Insp Bob Chapman said: “These were terrifying experiences for the shopkeepers and staff involved.
“They managed to contact the police and, thanks to a quick response and good work from patrolling officers, a man was detained.”