A hapless would-be robber waved a dog lead over his head during a failed attempt to hold up a Blackpool bookmakers.
The man used the unorthodox weapon to threaten staff at William Hill, on Talbot Road, as he placed a plastic bag in front of the cashier and yelled at her to: “Fill it up.”
He then ran off empty-handed when the woman bravely stood up to him and refused to comply, saying she would call the police.
Detectives are now hunting the offender, who has not yet been identified, following the incident on Tuesday evening.
Police said nobody was hurt during the raid, although the cashier was left shaken up by the ordeal.
Det Sgt Kathryn Riley, of Blackpool CID, said: “The offender has gone in with a dog lead and waved it round his head like a lasso.
“He then put a plastic bag on the counter and said ‘fill it up’.”
Police were called following the attempted robbery, which took place between 8pm and 8.30pm.
A force spokesman said the would-be robber entered the bookies as a “potential customer” before starting to make threats.
He left on foot once the woman behind the counter threatened to call police and ran off along the busy street.
Detectives are now working to identify the man, who escaped undetected through the crowds in the town centre.
They are examining CCTV footage from the bookmakers as part of the inquiry.
Police confirmed the incident is still under investigation and no arrests have yet been made.
The Lancashire Police spokesman added: “The cashier said she was calling the police and the offender left on to the busy town centre road and made off away from the scene undetected.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident or who has information that may assist police is urged to contact Blackpool CID by calling 101, quoting crime reference WA1510024.