A robber brandishing a Fairy Liquid bottle told a shopkeeper “give me the money, I’ve got acid”.
Nathan Flynn, 33, went into a newsagent’s and post office wearing a balaclava and a high-visibility jacket and waved a washing-up bottle around, Gazette Live reports.
CCTV footage from the shop catches Flynn in the act.
He told lone shopkeeper Nathaniel Addison: “Give me the money. I’ve got acid. Give me the money.”
The frightened worker held up an issue of Closer magazine to protect his face from the strong-smelling fluid in the bottle which was splashed near the counter of McColl's.
Mr Addison recognised Flynn, whom he had known for years, by his voice.
He pressed a panic alarm and ran out of the shop in Easterside, Middlesbrough.