A GANG of balaclava-wearing men said to be armed with a sledgehammer and crowbar threatened a security guard at a Teesside Park store.

Police were called to the Thornaby shopping park's O2 store at 8.45pm on Tuesday.

Four men wearing dark clothes, balaclavas and gloves gained entry to the store and threatened the security guard before making off empty-handed.

Three of the men are between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, and one is slightly larger at around 6ft 2ins with a heavier build. The bigger man was wearing a two-tone jacket where the body was a lighter colour blue than the sleeves. None of the men had local accents.

The men drove away in a dark blue Ford Kuga vehicle, which is a 4x4 model.

They headed from Teesside Park towards the A19. The car was recovered later that night after being abandoned in Acklam Road, Thornaby.

Detective Constable Joe Myers said: “This is a serious incident and we want to hear from anyone who might have spotted the car. Please call us on 101, quoting incident number 221884.”