A manhunt has been launched after a man wielding a pistol robbed a newsagent at gunpoint.
The robber, who was wearing a motorcycle helmet, entered Maxted News and Food on Worthing Road, Rustington, yesterday carrying a handgun and demanding money from the till.
Owner Dharmesh Patel urged a customer to stay back as he handed over the money.
The 50-year-old said: “He came in showing a gun and told me to get money out of the till, I did and then he ran away.
“There was a customer in the shop, I told them to stand back while I handed over the money – the man got away with about £140.”
The robber fled on foot with the money and Mr Patel called the police.
He said: “It was frightening and something like this has never happened to me before in my 13 years running the shop.
“Five or six police cars came last night and we had to shut down – however we are open again now.
“We do have CCTV but he was wearing a helmet so we cannot see his face.”
Police are investigating and the man who was about 5ft 10in to 6ft and was wearing a blue hooded top.
Craig Dacey, 18, student and resident, said: “It was so chaotic down there - definitely a man-hunt.
“The police knocked on all the doors in the area and searched a bunch of garden sheds after finding an abandoned motorcycle helmet.”
A Spokesman from Sussex Police said: “A motorcycle helmet was found in the area.
“It is not clear if it is connected with the robbery. Police enquiries are continuing.”
Detective Sergeant Colin O'Hare, of West Sussex CID, said: “Incidents like this are rare, and while staff were shaken, no one was injured during this incident.
“Anyone who saw what happened or noticed anything suspicious in the area is asked to get in touch as soon as possible.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 101 quoting serial 1213 or 14/5 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
See the latest crime figures in your area with our street-level crime map