BURGLARS removed a window from a Dorchester supermarket before making off with cigarettes in an overnight raid.

Police say that the burglary at the Co-Operative store in Trinity Street was reported at around 5am yesterday morning with staff believing the break-in occurred sometime between 2.20am and 2.35am.

Inspector Steve Marsh, of Dorchester Police, said that it appeared the offenders ‘knew what they were doing’ as they removed the glass window to gain direct access to the cigarette display unit.

He said: “It appears as though they have removed one pane of glass completely. I would suggest they knew what they were doing because the back of the tobacco kiosk is at the back of the shop up against the window and by removing that pane of glass it gave them direct access without entering the shop.”

Insp Marsh said that there were a number of CCTV cameras in the area and officers would spend some time reviewing that footage as part of their investigations He said the investigation was still in its early stages and the store was still trying to work out the value of the cigarettes that were taken.

Town councillor David Taylor, who is vice-chairman of the Dorchester Crime Prevention Panel, urged anyone who might have seen anything suspicious around the time of the offence to get in touch with the police.

He said: “I would urge anybody that’s got any information to help clear up this crime as quickly as possible.

“My heart goes out to the Co-Operative, having this sort of thing happen to their premises must be awful but Dorchester on the whole is generally a safe place.”

A spokesperson for The Co-operative Food said: “Our store was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday morning while the store was closed.

“The incident is believed to have occurred around 2:30am, the intruders caused considerable damage to the kiosk area and stole a quantity of cigarettes.

“The store opened as normal yesterday morning, however the cigarette kiosk remained closed to enable police to carry out their investigations.

“We apologise to customers for any inconvenience.

“As with any incident such as this, we would appeal for anyone with information to come forward.”

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 01:54.