A MASKED man attempted to rob a shopkeeper at knifepoint but fled when the alarm was activated.

Brave shopkeeper Raj Nallah refused to hand over any cash or goods having become fed up with the number of raids at News Point, Pendle Drive, Basildon.

The 52-year-old victim said: “I was in the shop when the man entered, he was all covered up with a balaclava and gloves.

“I saw him take a big knife out of a bag and he threatened me shouting to give him the money in the till.

“When I pushed the button it made the loud sound and he left the store.

“I had my hand over the button ready to push it.

“I was in shock and didn’t know what to do at first.

“I was worried as thought anything could have happened to me.

“It is scary.

“I don’t know if they are targeting my business because it is independent.

“It is horrible that it’s happening to my business and I feel scared.”

The armed man entered the store shortly after 7.50pm on Monday.

The crook was described as white, about 6ft tall, and wore a white hooded Nike top and a balaclava.

He was seen leaving on foot towards Whitmore Way.

There was a similar incident in January 2015.

On that occasion an armed robber put a knife to the same terrified shop worker’s throat just for two bottles of booze and two packets of cigarettes.

CCTV footage showed the moment the robber put an eight-inch kitchen knife to the man’s throat and order him behind the till at the time.

Essex Police is appealing for information from the public about the incident.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are appealing for witnesses to an attempted robbery at a shop in Basildon.

“A man armed with a knife entered Kast Convenience Store in Pendle Drive and demanded money from a staff member.

“The victim activated a panic alarm and the robber left empty-handed.

“We want to speak to anyone who saw the man or has any CCTV footage.”

Mr Nallah said he will not be cowed by the crook and is keen people to come forward and help.

It was the second armed robbery in a short space of time but the incidents are not being connected by police.

The town is set to benefit from an increased police presence and an increase in police support after Basildon Council agreed to allow staff ten days off as Special Constables to help the force which has struggled to cope with widespread cuts during the past eight years.

Contact Basildon CID on 101 quoting reference 42/138943/18.