MASKED robbers raided a corner shop and escaped with cash as police scrambled a helicopter on Saturday.

Two men entered Bargain Stop in Wilton Road at 10pm and demanded the assistant hand over money from the till.

One man stuffed the notes into a black bin bag, while a second man asked where the safe was.

The pair also made off with cigarettes, scratch cards, alcohol and other items including a piece of cheese that was bundled into the bag.

Police are appealing for witnesses and say the first man is white, 5ft11in tall, aged in his late 20s to early 30s, and had blue eyes.

He spoke with a deep voice in a local accent, and wore dark clothes and a balaclava.

The second man is described as white, 6ft tall, around 30 years old, and muscular.

He also had a deep voice, and wore a Puffa jacket and a hoody.

Both men also wore gloves.

The manager of Bargain Stop, Ebru Ozturk said that the staff member on duty at the time was young and new to the shop, and had been tending to the newspapers before being marched to the till by one of the men.

The victim then pressed the panic button shortly after the raid, and Ms Ozturk rushed down to the scene.

The two men had made their escape by the time she arrived.

She said that the boy was shaken by what had happened, but she did not know how to stop a similar attack happening again.

“I think the same people came in half an hour before but I cannot be sure,” she said.

“But the person was wearing the same backpack.

“What can we do to stop this happening again? We do not know how people can act.

“Should we place something hard behind the till?”

Detective Sergeant Michael Standing said that it was a frightening experience for the shop assistant, even though nobody was injured.

He said: “Officers attended the scene and carried out an extensive area search alongside the police helicopter, but this proved negative.

“I would like to reassure residents that we are carrying out a thorough investigation into this incident — house to house enquiries are being carried out and we will be analysing all CCTV footage available to us.

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have been passing the shop around this time, who may have witnessed the two men either prior to, or following the incident.

“We believe they left on foot in the direction of Wilton.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.