A quick-thinking shop customer followed a would-be robber back to a nearby house before alerting police.
The incident happened just before 2.10pm yesterday when a man entered The Paper Shop in Silchester Road, St Leonards.
He threatened a member of staff with a knife and demanded money but she shouted and he ran out.
Sussex Police arrested the man after the customer worked out where he was hiding.
Mark Coleman, 20, of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards, has been charged with attempted robbery, possession of an offensive weapon, two offences of making threats whilst in possession of an offensive weapon, and assault by beating.
He is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court today.