DETECTIVES are hunting an armed robber who escaped with a four-figure sum after raiding a post office.
Staff at the Duddingston store were left terrorised by the ordeal – the third incident at the store in as many years.
Yesterday’s incident saw the robber strike in broad daylight.
He burst into the Londis store on Milton Road West and demanded cash from the safe.
After swiping the cash, he escaped on foot at around 10.25am.
Officers are understood to be treating the weapon as an “unidentified object”, but it understood staff believe the man was armed with a firearm, possibly a handgun.
Shocked residents say the post office has been targeted a number of times by desperate thieves.
Martin Ross, who manages the National Tyres garage next door, said: “It’s happened at least three times in the last three years. The last time was six months ago when someone got in through the roof and made off with a load of cigarettes.”
During an earlier October 2011 raid, a counter clerk was serving an elderly customer when two armed thieves burst in.
The culprits pushed the pensioner out of the way and one of the men climbed over the counter.
However, the clerk managed to lock the door and press a panic button. Both robbers were wearing balaclava disguises and one was brandishing a craft knife.
One resident, who lives across the street, said: “I use the shop all the time, and so do my kids, so it’s really scary that this could happen.
“The police have been round my house and our neighbours to see if we saw anything but I was out at the time.
“I only realised something had happened when I saw all the police cars outside.”
Detectives swamped the store yesterday to interview staff and try to recover images from CCTV cameras inside.
They were helped by internal post office security staff, resulting in the branch staying closed until well into the afternoon.
A Police Scotland spokesman urged anyone with information about the incident to call them immediately.
He said: “We are investigating following an armed robbery in the east of the city. The incident happened at around 10.25am yesterday at the post office in Milton Road West.
“A male entered the building and presented an unidentified object before demanding cash from the safe.
“The suspect then made off on foot with a four-figure sum of cash.
“Inquiries into this robbery are ongoing and anyone who remembers seeing anything suspicious around the post office on Friday morning is asked to contact police immediately.”
A Post Office spokeswoman said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing police investigation but we are co-operating fully with police.”
Staff at the post office did not want to comment on their ordeal.