A shopkeeper in Finchley was hard at work stacking shelves when three men attacked him with a knife before stealing cash from the till.

Three men wearing dark clothing, gloves and woolly hats, barged into Corner Supermarket in Hendon Lane shortly before 9pm last night.

One of the men put his arm firmly around the shopkeeper’s neck as a second brandished a large knife.

Speaking to the Times Series, owner Raj Thevarajah, said: “They came in with a big, long knife. One of them put his arm around the shopkeeper’s neck and the second one hit him on the head with the knife. He was very scared.”

The victim called for help from a colleague in the stockroom as a third suspect opened the till and took £260 in cash.

CCTV footage shows all three men run out of the shop in an unknown direction, as the shopkeeper rubs his head where he was hit with the knife.

He suffered bruising, but is not thought to be seriously injured.

Mr Thevarajah, 42, who has owned the shop for 12 years, added: “My staff were really shocked afterwards. Luckily they are okay but one of them has a bruised neck from the struggle. I’ve told them to take it easy and stay off work for a few days or weeks.

“£260 is a lot of money for a small business like us – but I’m not worried about the money, I’m just concerned about their health. We’re just so lucky they’re okay.

“I think things like this will happen more and more as benefits are cut. People who don’t work are not getting as much money and will try to get it any way they can. But it’s very difficult to monitor – you can’t ask police to stand outside your door 24/7.”

One suspect is described as a white man, 5ft 10ins tall, the second is described as a white man, 5ft 11ins tall and the third man is believed to be the same height 5ft 11ins tall. All three were wearing woolly winter hats with “floppy” ears.

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.