A MASKED knifeman stole money from a tip jar at a bookmakers.

officers were called to Betfred on Saint Luke’s Terrace following a report of an armed robbery shortly after 8.40pm on Thursday.

It was reported that a man, who was wearing a mask to conceal his identity, entered the premises and threatened staff members with a knife.

The offender then stole money from the tip jar before making off in the direction of Oxford Street.

An investigation has been launched into the incident and detectives have now asked anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Constable Christopher Sengelow, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a callous and selfish crime that left staff members absolutely terrified

“Thankfully nobody was injured, but we are taking this very seriously and an investigation is ongoing to trace those involved.

“The offender who robbed the shop is described as white, with a local accent and wearing a black hooded jacket and gloves.

“We are now appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious at this time in the Saint Luke’s Terrace area to come forward and contact police by calling 101. Your information may prove the key to bringing the person responsible to justice.”