A TILBURY take away owner was forced to flee from his own shop after a man threatened him with a gun.

The terrified owner of Favorite Chicken and Ribs Store in Calcutta Road escaped out to the back of the store after a man in a balaclava stormed the shop, wielding what looked like a small, black handgun.

The bungling robber then attempted to open the till, but had no joy and left empty-handed.

It is thought he made off down Quebec Road.

The owner had been in the store alone at the time of the raid at 11.40pm on Wednesday, August 13.

Det Sgt Natalia Ross, who is investigating the incident, said: "The victim managed to escape out to the back of the shop. The suspect tried to open the till without success. He left empty handed and is believed to have made off down Quebec Road."

The suspect is described as a man in his 20s and had a local Essex accent. He was wearing a grey tracksuit with a hood with a salmon pink t-shirt underneath, a black woolly balaclava and black leather gloves.

Anybody with any information about the incident is asked to contact Ds Natalia Ross at Grays CID on Essex Police 101 or they can call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.