A would-be robber wearing a Ronald Reagan fancy dress mask tried to raid a newsagents, Surrey police have said.
The suspect went into the shop on The Long Road, in Rowledge, on Thursday and threatened staff with a weapon, demanding cash.
The man, who was wearing a rubber mask, ordered the shopkeeper to put all his cash in a bag, but was distracted when he heard he was being filmed on CCTV.
Local traders chased the man as he ran off, but he managed to get away.
The man was described as white, about 5ft 6in (1.7m) tall, with a very thin build, and wearing a light blue hooded top.
Officers appealed for information and said it was believed, from his voice and his athletic ability, that the offender was a teenager.