A 52-year-old man was arrested in Scarborough tonight after he threatened a shop worker with what was thought to be a gun.
He walked into the Westwood branch of Tesco at 5.15pm and pointed the pistol in his victim’s back before running off.
An off-duty police officer saw him in the store and tackled him to the ground and held him there until backup arrived.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said no one was injured in the incident and the gun - which was an imitation weapon - was recovered by officers at the scene.
He added: “This was a worrying incident and clearly left the shop worker in a distressed state.
“Thankfully nobody was harmed and the quick actions of the off-duty police officer brought the incident to a quick and safe conclusion.”
The spokesman said that the victim was allowed to go home after her ordeal and officers carried out reassurance patrols in the area following the arrest.
He confirmed that the suspect was arrested on suspicion of armed robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.
Anyone with any information should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, press option 2 and ask for Phil Nockels.
Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and quote reference 12120197283.