AN ARMED thug stole hundreds of pounds from a petrol station during a raid.

The man, armed with a chisel, demanded the cash from staff at Texaco petrol station, Whitmore Way, Basildon at about 6.30pm.

Staff were left shaken and scared. Officers arrested a man following the robbery and he has been released on bail.

A staff member at the petrol station recalled: “The man jumped over the counter, pushed the worker out of the way and took the cash.

“Nobody was hurt during the incident and he did not attack anyone.

“He asked the staff to get out of the way and they ran.

“The worker was left very shaken and took a few days to recover.

“I have worked here for nine years and we have never had anything like this happen here before.

“I am just glad that nobody was hurt in the incident.”

The incident has left the community in shock and councillors have raised some serious concerns following the robbery.

David Kirkman, Labour councillor for Fryerns said: “I am shocked that it has happened at a small garage like this one.

“I am not aware of any other incidents like this happening in this area.

“These are peak times for the garage so I think there would have been people around at the time of this incident.

“I think it will have a negative impact on the footfall at the business.

“I also think it may make people feel concerned about visiting this petrol station.

“I think it is a sign of the times and would like to see an increased police presence on our streets.”

Police are appealing for witnesses following the incident.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A man has been arrested following a robbery at a petrol station in Basildon. A man went into the Texaco in Whitmore Way at around 6.30pm on Sunday, January 6 and made off with a three-figure sum of cash.

“A 36 year-old man from Basildon has been arrested the following day on suspicion of robbery and has since been released under investigation in relation to this incident.”