A shopkeeper believes he was alone with a burglar for hours without knowing when his premises were broken into.
Robert Teal runs Vitesse shop and newsagent on Church Street, Barnsley.
It was broken into at about 1.10am on Sunday after a pane of glass in the front window was smashed, triggering the shop's alarm.
Robert contacted the police and made his way to the shop with officers who searched the premises. He then stayed until 4.30am to board up the window.
He returned later that afternoon to clear up the mess from the break-in and noticed the shop's cigarette display had been tampered with and then found a kitchen knife with an 8in blade behind the counter.
He checked the alarm system and saw a sensor had been triggered in an upstairs storage room after he had left earlier that morning.
Now he thinks the person who broke-in had been upstairs while he was downstairs fixing the window, and had waited until Robert left at 4.30am before trying to take the cigarettes and escaping through an upstairs window.
The 52-year-old said it was 'a very sobering experience' because he had gone into the upstairs storage room for wood to board up the broken window - where he believes the intruder was hiding.
He is now warning other shopkeepers to be on their guard and make a thorough search following a break-in.
"Finding the knife behind the counter - it really brings home what could've happened," he said.
"My feelings changed from being angry to a realisation that actually it's lucky I didn't find the person.
"I am not criticising the police for not finding them, I went into that room and I didn't see them."
Robert believes the person who broke in could have been hiding in a chest freezer which was turned off.
He has urged people not to take matters into their own hands in a similar situation.
"Don't go looking, phone the police. Again this could've been a very different story."
Little was taken apart from a tips' jar and Robert said it is the first break-in in more than a decade.
In a separate incident also on Church Street, Harrington's café and snack bar was broken into early on Monday.
The shop's front door was kicked in and owner Denise Harrington said it looked like 'a stable door'.
"It looked a mess. Whoever has done it has only got away with the little bit money we had for change. Boxes of chocolate, crisps and pop have been taken as well.
"We've had attempted break-ins before but they never managed to get in. I suppose you just have to keep going. I think we have been fortunate, it could have been worse."
A spokesman for the police confirmed officers attended both incidents and investigations are in their early stages.