A knife wielding thief threatened staff before leaving a shop with thousands in cash.

Staff at the Co-op food store in Stock Road, Billericay were terrified when a man entered the store on Sunday evening armed with a knife.

Following the incident, a spokesman for Essex Police, said: We were called to the Co-op Food store on Stock Road, Billericay, following reports of an armed robbery.

"A man entered the store just before 9pm on Sunday, September 23.

"He threatened staff members with a knife before making off in the direction of the High Street with cigarettes and a four-figure sum of cash."

A description has been released of the suspect following the robbery.

Essex Police said the man was described as wearing a dark puffed jacket with the hood up, dark jeans and black shoes.

The store remains trading following the robbery, however the Co-op have been forced to place security on the door of the entrance of the shop in light of this incident.

A spokesperson for the Co-op, said: “The store re-opened the following day to serve the local community.

"Co-op takes retail crime very seriously and implements a range of measures to both deter criminal activity and to aid convictions.

"We appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the police.”

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Basildon CID on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/138464/18.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111.