AN armed robber threatened an employee with a shotgun before stealing cash and tobacco products from a Co-op in Somerset.

Police have issued a CCTV image of the suspect who targeted the convenience store in Yeovil.

The incident happened at the Co-op in Mudford Road between 10.30pm and 10.45pm on Thursday (January 17).

Police say the offender threatened the member of staff with a shotgun before stealing a quantity of cash and tobacco products.

They then ran from the store onto Mudford Road and got into a dark coloured vehicle which drove off in the direction of the village of Mudford.

Detective Inspector Glen Boxer said: "I’d like to reassure the community that crimes involving firearms in Avon and Somerset are extremely rare and we’re doing everything we can to trace this offender.

"Thankfully no-one was hurt in the incident but it was clearly a very frightening experience for the shop assistant.

"We have a number of lines of enquiry which we are pursuing, but we’re still keen to hear from anyone who was in the area who saw the incident or anything else suspicious around the time.

"I appreciate the offender’s balaclava makes it difficult to identify them but do you recognise the coat? Or do you know someone with access to a shotgun who has been acting differently during the past few days?

"Did you drive through the area and have your dashcam on? If so, we’d like to see the footage.

"If you have information, no matter how insignificant you might think it might be, please contact us and let us assess it. It could be crucial to identifying the offender and bringing them to justice."

If you can help, call police on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5219012223.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800-555111 or via their anonymous online form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.