A BRAVE shop assistant was back at work yesterday...just hours after being robbed by a knife-wielding thug.

The employee was working alone at the Day-Today store, in Thornhill, Johnstone, when he was confronted by a crook armed with a knife in one hand and a dog lead in the other.

In the moments that followed, the robber swung the dog chain at the assistant and demanded cash.

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He then fled the scene with around £200 from the till and a haul of cigarettes.

The victim was left badly shaken by his ordeal, which took place at around 7.15am on Monday, but found the courage to return to work yesterday morning.

Fellow shop assistant Yazz Choudry believes the robber has previously ‘scouted’ the store to work out the best time to pounce.

Mr Choudry told The Gazette: “Nine times out of ten with these things it turns out to be a customer – someone who knows the shop and knows the routine.

“I’ve been working here for a while now and our customers have always been great, so it was a bit of shock to hear about what had happened.

“In these situations, you don’t know what the person is going to do or if they are going to hurt someone.

“This is a nice area and we’ve never had any trouble before.

“I just hope they catch the guy.”

The store, near Beith Road, had to remain closed for the rest of Monday as police launched an investigation.

Mr Choudry said: “We lost a whole day of business. It has a knock-on effect that people don’t realise.

“We’ve just got to get on with it. That’s all we can do.”

Bosses at the store have now stepped up plans to introduce more CCTV cameras in a bid to deter future attacks.

The suspect is described as white, around 5ft 9ins tall and of medium build.

At the time, he was wearing glasses, a light-grey hooded top, dark-grey jogging bottoms with a white stripe on the leg and dark footwear.

Police are carrying out door-to-door enquiries and checking CCTV footage in a bid to snare the culprit.

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In an appeal for witnesses, Detective Inspector Ross McDonald said: “We want to speak to customers who were in the shop just before the incident and we believe somebody was there at the time.”