A man with a knife got away with approximately £400 after robbing the Esso service station on Cowley Bridge Road in Exeter.

The man, thought to be in his late 30s, entered the forecourt store at around 12.50am on Monday, December 12. He headed for the Subway concession and tried to open the till. When he couldn’t, he threatened a member of staff who handed over the money.

He left the shop and ran into an alleyway. The police helicopter was called to help search for him.

There was just the one member of staff in the shop at the time, who was uninjured in the robbery. No customers were in the store.

The man is described as white, in his late 30s, of slim build and 5ft 10ins tall. He was wearing a black hooded jacket with a black scarf across his face, dark trousers and black gloves. He also had a local Exeter accent.

Detective Inspector Tanya Youngs said: “This is a shocking and serious crime and we are determined to identify and apprehend the man responsible. The staff at the shop were thankfully unhurt but understandably distressed. We are appealing for your help and if you have any information please don’t hesitate to contact us at the earliest opportunity.”