THOUSANDS of pounds of cigarettes and alcohol were stolen during a raid on a village post office.

A group of burglars used bricks to break into Honeycroft Post Office and shop in Waldegrave Way, Lawford.

The raid happened at 4.30am on Saturday.

The three suspects got away with between £7,000 and £8,000 of cigarettes and alcohol after smashing their way in through the front door using concrete blocks.

Shop owner and post master Chandran Paranirubazingham was alerted to the break-in when the shop’s alarm went off.

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It prompted police to attend who then contacted him.

He said: “They brought big concrete bricks and they went inside and took from my cigarette cabinet.

“The front door is damaged and I’ll need to spend £2,000 on the door.

“Inside the postal door was damaged and the cigarette cabinet was damage and shattered.

“All of the chewing gum and chewing gum racks were all down on the floor.”

Police warned Mr Paranirubazingham not to go inside the shop until they arrived.

“We’re finding some if the rubbish in the street as well,” he added.

The shop owner said he is very angry this has happened.

The CCTV footage showed three men in dressed in tracksuits, baseball caps and trainers forcing their way into the post office.

Footage also shows the damage and mess inside the shop as raiders sift through shelves and climb over the counter to take the cigarettes from behind it.

Mr Paranirubazingham said this is the first time Honeycroft Post Office has been burgled since the couple took over the shop in May.

Essex Police urged anyone with information to contact them on 101 with reference number 42/77396/19 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.