Police are investigating a suspected hate crime after an Aldi worker was racially abused when she confronted two alleged shoplifters.
The incident happened after a man and a woman reportedly tried to steal a number of items from a branch of the discount supermarket in Sunderland.
It took place at the Hylton Riverside Retail Park shortly before 2.45pm on January 6.
The shop worker was allegedly subjected to racial abuse after confronting the two customers, causing “significant alarm and distress”.
The two individuals then left the shop and other members of staff reported the incident, which is now being treated as a suspected hate crime, to police.
Officers have released CCTV images of a man and a woman they believe could help them with their investigations into the attempted theft.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “As part of their extensive enquiries, police have now identified a man and a woman that they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.
“They were in the store at the time of the incident and could have information that can assist officers with their enquiries.
“The man and woman, or anyone who recognises them, are asked to contact 101 quoting reference 593 060120 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.