Police are looking for dumped and discarded CCTV hard drives after a group of men armed with crow bars burgled businesses across Hampshire and nicked the CCTV evidence.
Officers previously appealing for information on burglaries in Stony Cross and Nursling, have extended their enquiries to Totton and Basingstoke.
Officers in the Western Investigation team have this afternoon linked four burglaries that have occurred between February 16 and February 19 that stretch county wide.
On Friday 16 February at 4.25am, three men were reported to have forced entry through the rear door of the service shop at Stoney Cross services on the westbound A31. The staff members were threatened and one was assaulted with a crowbar. He received treatment for a head wound at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Cash is believed to have been stolen from the till. A driver making morning deliveries is thought to have disturbed the suspects. They ran across the dual carriageway to a layby on the eastbound side, directly opposite the services.
On Monday 19 February at 2am, three men were seen by a man who lived nearby to be trying to break into the Sainsbury’s petrol station shop on Wallop Drive, Hatch Warren in Basingstoke. The man to prevent the crime from happening and went over to intervene, but the men turn on him, stole his mobile phone and assaulted him with crow bar. The shop was not broken into.
Later that morning, at 3.40am, three men were reported to have raided the Asda petrol station kiosk on Maynard Road in Totton. Armed with crow bars again, they threatened staff and stole cigarettes.
Then, shortly before 6am staff at the Co-op store were opening up the shop on Nursling Street, Nursling when four men who had their faces covered entered the store and threatened the staff members with crowbars.No-one was hurt, but the men left the store with around £5,000 in cash and £12,000 worth of cigarettes.
The CCTV hard drives from the service shop at Stoney Cross and the Co-op in Nursling were also stolen.
Detective Sergeant Anton Gaita has said this is ‘significant.’ He added, “This is an attempt to remove and destroy evidence, but there is still opportunity for us to find it.
“I’m appealing to anyone who lives or works near these premises to look out for any discarded electrical items. CCTV hard drives look like any other computer hard drive, so I would urge anyone who sees something like this, dumped somewhere unusual, to get in contact with us.”
If you have any information relating to this case, please call Hampshire Police on 101 quoting reference ‘44180061633 or 44180065463’, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.