Police are investigating reports of an alleged armed robbery that took place on the evening of New Year's Day at the Spar shop in Wolsingham.
The shop was cordoned off last night as police forensic investigators worked at the scene.
– Inspector Jason Meecham, Durham Police
"We are investigating reports of a robbery at the Spar in the market place in Wolsingham.
Our investigations are at an early stage. There is no cause for alarm to the wider public."
Insp Meecham declined to say whether the report that police had received was of an armed robbery at the Wolsingham store.
A Wolsingham resident, who asked not to be named, said shop staff told of four masked attackers armed with axes who entered the shop and took the till.
No one is believed to have been hurt.