A GANG of thieves stole a large quantity of cigarettes in a raid on a village shop.
The One-Stop on The Square in Titchfield was closed yesterday after the break-in, which happened at 2am yesterday morning.
A gang of four or five men pulled up in a black vehicle and broke into the shop via the front door. Once inside, a large quantity of cigarettes was stolen.
The offenders then left the store through the front door and drove away. It is believed they were wearing hooded tops with the hoods up.
Police cordoned off the shop yesterday while investigations took place.
Damage to the front door was fixed by work men, while staff completed a stock check.
Villager Nicholas Hutchins, from Hewett Close, 56, said: ‘I haven’t seen anything like this before.
‘It’s a nice, quiet village. We don’t want this kind of thing happening.’
Kathleen Mayhead, 80, said: ‘It’s terrible that there has been a robbery on my doorstep.’
Brett Beaumont, landlord of The Bugle Hotel, next-door-but-one to the shop, said: ‘It is a worry for everyone.’
Police are appealing for witnesses. Det Sgt Liam Davies said: ‘We are in the early stages of our investigation.
‘At this point we have no evidence to link this burglary with any others in Hampshire or further afield. However this is something we are looking into.
‘We would appeal to anyone who may have any information which may help us identify who is responsible for this incident to come forward.’
Two incidents happened in Millbrook, Southampton, at around 8pm on Thursday, where a man tried to grab money from the till at One-Stop and the Co-op, although this is not thought to be linked to the Titchfield break in.
Anyone with information should call CID at Fareham police station on 101.