A punter at a bookmakers barged a female cashier out of the way before ransacking the till of £440.
The incident happened at Paddy Power bookies on Union Street in Accrington and bosses said the offender had been inside for around 90 minutes and was ‘biding his time’ to strike.
The burglar pushed deputy manager Jade Townsend out of the way before stealing the £20 notes from the till and running off towards the Eastgate roundabout.
Carl Atkinson, shop manager, said: “He was in the shop for a while, about an hour-and-a-half and must have been waiting for his opportunity.
“He has hung about and must have waited until it was quiet. He hasn’t gone for the safe, just the till drawer and took the £20 notes out of there and ran off.
“People have said he has been in before and we have spoken to other local bookmakers and given them the CCTV picture.
“She (Jade) thought he was looking for the toilet but then he came in and grabbed the cash in the drawer.”
The incident happened on Sunday, August 10 at around 9.15pm and Miss Townsend was the only staff member working at the time.
Mr Atkinson said they have implement new procedures since the incident which follows a previous raid at the branch back in October 2012.
He said: “The cashier Jade was working on her own but since this incident we are now going to keep two people on after 6pm.
“We have also fitted some new locks to the doors and are putting other security measures in place regarding floats and banking.”
Witness Jonny Pickles, 56, from Accrington, said the cashier was left ‘terrified’ by the incident.
He said: “There was only her working in the shop and he pushed passed her to rob the till.
“I was at the nearby Wetherspoons and saw all the police turn up. She was in a highly vulnerable situation where it was only her working with a large amount of money.
“People enjoy going in there to put a couple of quid on but they are concerned with this situation. It’s not safe for people to go in there at night.”
The offender is described as a bearded Asian male, aged between 25 and 30, of slim build with shirt dark hair and wearing a fitted jumper and dark fitted blue jeans. He had a smart appearance.
A police spokesman said: “The offender went into the betting shop and reached into the cash drawer stealing around £440 before leaving at the same point of entry.
“He then ran off towards the roundabout near McDonalds.”
Call police on 101 quoting crime reference number EL1408882.