A KNIFE-wielding robber threatened staff before fleeing with £60 worth of tobacco.

The hooded suspect entered Martins Newsagents, in Ballards Walk, Laindon, just before 6pm yesterday and brandished the knife before demanding staff open the till.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "When they were unable to do so he grabbed approximately £60 worth of tobacco products and then ran out of the shop, turning left as he exited."

The suspect is described as a white male, aged around 27, 5ft 7in tall and of stocky build. He had a hood up and a scarf across the lower part of his face. He was also wearing black jogging bottoms, black trainers with white markings on them, a khaki green coat, which was zipped up, and a light grey hooded top underneath.

He was also wearing black gloves and spoke with a local accent.

Anyone who saw the suspect either before or after the robbery or who has any other information which could assist police is asked to call DC Deborah Williams at Basildon CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.