A SHOP owner has been left “traumatised” after being threatened by a knife wielding thug.

Dusha, co-owner of Eastwood Food and Wine, was approached by the thug on Tuesday evening, when he drew the weapon and demanded her to open the till.

Still shaken, she said: “It was around 7.30pm when three guys came into the store to buy sweets and drinks.

"I recognised two of them who always come into the shop, but the other one wasn’t so familiar.

“They bought what they wanted and left. Two minutes later the one who I didn’t recognise came back on his own but with a hoody on, which I first assumed he’d put on because it was cold outside.

"When he kept staring at me I began to instantly worry.

“He got a drink and then came over to the till and handed me a £5 note, but I had a gut feeling to not open the till until he had left.

“He then pulled out the knife and said ‘open the till now, I’m being serious’, and I went into absolute shock.”

Dusha began to scream for help and repeatedly pressed the store’s panic button.

She added: “I knew it was bad when he started to edge closer so I pressed the button and started to shout as loud as I could.

“I didn’t want him to see that I was absolutely petrified, but he was pointing the knife right at my stomach and I thought he would stab me, especially since he was clearly drunk.

“I refused to open the till and carried on screaming for help, so he ran and got away with nothing. He actually left behind his £5.

“I’m asthmatic and was sent into a pure panic attack, shaking and crying. I had to have my inhaler so many times, and even now when I talk or think about what happened I get chest pains.

“I don’t feel safe anymore and we’ve only been here four months, it truly was traumatising.

“At least we had CCTV – it could’ve been someone in a dark random street with no help. That’s what scares me the most.”

Within 30 minutes, the thug then went on to rob a second shop nearby.

A spokesperson from Essex Police, said: “We received information that a teenager holding a knife threatened staff in Eastwood Convenience Store, in Rayleigh Road, at around 7.30pm before carrying out a robbery in Cambridge News, in Eastwood Road North, just before 8pm. The suspect left the scene with cash.”

Detective Constable Glen Crosby, of Southend CID, said: “We were quickly alerted about these robberies and carried out a search, however, we were unable to locate the suspect.

“Fortunately no one was injured but the victims were left shaken by their ordeals.

“We understand there were people waiting outside and we are trying to establish whether they are witnesses or suspects.

“We would urge anyone with information to call Southend CID on 101 quoting incidents 1019 and 1056 of 14/01.”