POLICE are still searching for a suspected armed raider who attempted to rob a post office in Paignton.
The suspect fled the scene empty handed after terrifying a female member of staff working behind the counter of the St Michael Road branch.
Armed police were deployed to the scene after reports from witnesses that they had chased the man through the nearby streets before losing sight of him.
The hunt for the man goes on with no arrests made at the time of going to print on Wednesday.
The incident happened on Friday at about 1.30pm.
The alert was raised after a panic alarm was triggered at the post office by the employee.
Witnesses described giving chase through the narrow streets.
Kieran Potter, who works at Colour Glaze, headed off after the man.
Kieran, 28, said: "We were working and someone outside shouted saying the post office was getting robbed, call the police.
"We heard the alarm going off and saw someone running down the road. I jumped in the van and chased him towards New Street, where I lost him.
"He turned up an alley I couldn't take the van down so I waited at the top. When I saw him again he had taken off his black jacket and exposed a checked shirt. He was carrying his jacket under his arm but I couldn't see anything else. I gave the police a commentary. I'd guess he was 28-35. He had black hair and tattoos on his arm. Someone shouted that he had a gun. He would have to be local to know these roads. It was only after I started chasing him I thought what am I doing? I've got a wife and kids aged six, four and two. There was no point trying to detain him, I just wanted to see where he went so the police could get there. They arrived within about 10 minutes."
Colour Glaze owner Andy Taylor, 48, said: "When we heard the guy shouting, we didn't believe him until we heard the alarm going off. We thought it was someone having a joke.
"It's really terrible and hopefully he'll get caught. I chased him on foot to start with but then I thought it's not worth risking your own health."
St Michael's Road and York Road were closed in the search, and officers extended the search for the man into Paignton town centre.
Acting Det Insp Chris Yarwood said: "There was an attempted robbery where a man produced what appeared to be a hand gun and demanded money from a lady working in the sub post office. He didn't get any money but he did manage to scare her. He ran from the scene with a scarf over his face.
"We are appealing for witnesses to the incident and for anyone who saw anything suspicious on the day or leading up to it."
The female member of staff was left in a state of shock by the incident and has since decided to leave her job at the post office.Detectives are continuing their hunt assessing witness evidence and forensic material. Neighbourhood officers have mounted patrols to reassure the public. Anyone with information should call 101.