The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary on Tuesday released security video of an armed robbery at a gas station in St. John's, in the hopes of obtaining a public tip that will locate the culprit.

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A frame from security video released by the RNC shows a thief accessing a safe hidden behind a gas station counter in Kilbride. (CBC )

The video, which the RNC posted to its YouTube channel, shows a masked man hustling the lone employee of an Ultramar station on Bay Bulls Road into the store's washroom.

It appears that the employee was clearing up outside the station at 10:47 p.m. on July 30 when the thief arrived on the scene, and quickly forced the employee back into the front door.

Within a minute of locking the employee in a washroom, the thief was rushing to the precise location of a safe held behind the counter.

In addition to cash, the thief took cigarettes.

The whole episode was over within two and a half minutes.

Police described the man as about 5-5" and wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, a grey winter cap, and white sneakers.

The RNC said the video was being released to help attract tips from the public. Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the RNC or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip service.