A SHOP manager has told of her terror after a robber wearing a skeleton mask burst into the store and demanded cash.
Sweta Patel, 34, was alone at Best One in Stone Square, Leigh Park, when the masked raider struck.
She initially thought it was a prank, but quickly realised he was trying to rob the store.
The man, who she described as aggressive, jumped on top of the counter and tried to hit Ms Patel on the head with a black walking stick.
She told The News: ‘It was in the morning and I was just doing a bit of paperwork and waiting for customers.
‘Somebody suddenly entered the store.
‘He was wearing a Hallowe’en mask and had a stick in his hand.
‘He said to me “Give me the money, open the till”.
‘I was thinking somebody was trying to scare me and it was a joke.
‘Then he got on the till and tried to hit me with the stick on my head.
‘I jumped out of the way to protect myself. He kept banging on the till.
‘I did not have time to press the panic button.’
In the nick of time, a staff member arrived for work and saw the commotion.
Ms Patel said: ‘The man was asking about the money and went to the other side of the store. Then he left the store.
‘He saw three customers coming towards the shop and the people in the flat upstairs also came.’
Police have now released CCTV footage, pictured above, of the suspect following the attempted robbery, which happened at about 9.45am on Monday.
Details have just been released.
The man was last seen heading down a nearby alleyway on a bicycle. Ms Patel added: ‘It was scary – frightening.
‘I still remember that scary face.’
The man was white, between 5ft 5in and 5ft 8in, of slim build and in his late teens or early 20s.
He was wearing a black and grey skeleton mask and a black and grey tracksuit.
He carried a black walking stick.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Constable Ann Keir at Havant police station on 101, quoting crime reference number 44140307639, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.