A Canada Post worker was confronted by a man wielding a large knife Thursday morning, and told to hand over all the mail.

Surveillance video of the incident, which occurred around 10:40 a.m. on 123rd Street in Surrey, shows a hooded man creeping up behind the courier, and pulling out what appears to be a weapon.

Police said the thief threatened the Canada Post employee, demanding he surrender the mail he was carrying.

A neighbour heard the postal worker tell Mounties the man was brandishing a machete. Police believe it was a large knife of sorts.

The postal worker distracted the thief by throwing a key or keys to the ground, then managed to run away. The man in the hood grabbed the keys and also bolted.

A witness saw the thief get into a waiting vehicle and wrote down a licence plate number to give to police.

Officers managed to track down the car and spoke to the driver, who was questioned and then later released. The thief is still on the loose.

He is described as a Caucasian man who is 5-11 with a slim build. He was wearing a dark hooded shirt and dark pants.

Canada Post said the case is under investigation, but did not provide further details.

Fortunately, the Canada Post worker was uninjured, though witnesses said he was noticeably shaken.

Unsure whether the keys open community mailboxes, neighbours said they were concerned the thief may have access to items that contain confidential information.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's St. John Alexander