CIGARETTES and alcohol were stolen when thieves smashed their way into a shop using a sledgehammer.

Burglars forced their way into the Spar shop, in Beech Hill, Tidworth, at about 2.40am on Tuesday (January 15).

They then took rummaged through and took cigarettes and alcohol.

Earlier on the same night a burglary was reported at the Nisa shop, in Winterslow Road, Salisbury.

A window was smashed with what is believed to have been a sledgehammer, and an attempt made to access the cigarettes.

The suspects made off in a dark vehicle – details of the vehicle were passed to police by a witness, and searches were carried out.

Officers carried out searches of the area for the vehicle which the suspects were believed to be travelling in and it was found crashed into a tree near the A338 at Cholderton at approximately 2.45am, and the occupants had left the vehicle.

A 21-year-old man from Southampton was arrested near the scene on suspicion of burglary and was taken to Melksham custody for questioning. He has since been released under investigation.

Det Con Mark Welch said: “We’d like to thank the members of the public who reported these incidents to police and provided us with descriptions of those involved as well as the vehicle they were travelling in.

“While we have made one arrest, we believe one man is still outstanding and we would urge anyone with information to contact us. We are continuing with our enquiries into these incidents which we are treating as linked. Significant damage was caused to both premises and we are keen to hear from anyone who can help.”

Anyone with information should call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190004598 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.