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14 March 2012, 08:04 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Cash has been stolen in a robbery at a South Tyneside bookmakers.
It happened at 12.09pm on Tuesday, March 13th, when police were called to Betfred bookmakers at Stanhope Road in South Shields.
A man armed with a knife went into the bookmakers via the rear of the building and threatened staff before making off with an amount of cash, again through the rear entrance, towards Farnham Medical Centre. No-one was injured.
The offender is described as about 5ft 5ins tall to 5ft 6ins tall, of slim build, wearing dark clothing and a balaclava. He spoke with a Tyneside accent.
DS Dave Hirst said:
"We're appealing for witnesses to a robbery that happened at a bookmakers in South Shields today. Anyone who saw a man running from the scene just after 12 is asked to contact us as soon as possible. Searches of the area are taking place and CCTV is being checked in an effort to identify the suspect.
"People are mistaken in thinking there are large quantities of cash lying around in bookmaker's shops; this is not the case. Bookmakers employ cash minimisation practices which mean there is very little cash in the store at any one time.
"This means that criminals who consider stealing from these premises and committing such a serious offence are risking long prison sentences for very little gain."
Any witnesses are asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.