A SHOP owner was left shaken after he was ordered to empty his till by a knife-wielding robber.

The knifeman, thought to be in his early twenties or late teens, walked into SS Convenience Store, in Plumberow Road, in Hockley, at about 7pm on Tuesday.

He grabbed the shop owner, Siva Kumar, from behind and pushed a what is believe to be a knife against his hip.

The victims’ wife, Mrs Kumar, said: “My husband has taken the day off today because he is very upset about what happened.

“At first he thought it was a joke but when he felt the grip the man had on him and then felt something sharp being pushed up against him, he shouted: ‘Call the police!’ to the other staff out the back.

“Even though my husband called out, I don’t think the man believed anyone else was in the shop.

“He then dragged my husband to the tills and he called out again: ‘Call the police!’ and that is when other staff came out and the man realised my husband was not alone in the shop.”

The opportunist then quickly fled the shop, leaving empty-handed.

It is believed the thug was under the impression Mr Kumar was alone in the shop and that he planned to target the store shortly before it was due to close, hoping the till may have been full.

Mrs Kumar added: “We have had incidents of shoplifting before and teenagers taking alcohol and running off, but nothing this bad.

“We have been here for three years and all of our customers are very friendly people.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A man entered SS Convenience Store on Plumberow Avenue shortly before 7pm on Tuesday November 26, and threatened the shopkeeper with what is believed to be a knife.

“Upon realising that other staff were present in the shop, the man left empty-handed, having previously demanded for the till to be emptied.

“He is described as being white, of slim build, and aged in his early 20s or late teens. He wore a full grey tracksuit.

“Anyone with information about this incident, or who may have CCTV or dashcam footage nearby which could assist in the investigation, is asked to call 101 quoting the incident number 970 of November 26.

“If you wish to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or submit information via their website.”