A POLICE helicopter search was carried out over Highcliffe Thursday morning after a Co-op store was ram-raided.

At around 6am, officers received a report of a burglary at the Lymington Road shop.

It was reported that a man had stolen a number of parcels from the shop.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "Efforts were made to track a vehicle that was seen leaving the scene, with support from the NPAS helicopter and colleagues at British Transport Police and Hampshire Constabulary."

Shortly after 7am, a 40-year-old Bournemouth man was arrested in Bransgore in connection with the incident, as well as the theft of cigarettes from a Londis store in Marlow Drive, Christchurch.

He is currently assisting officers with their enquiries.

A spokesperson for the Co-op said: “We can confirm that there was an incident at our Highcliffe-On-Sea store on Lymington Road in the early hours of this morning.

"The store is closed whilst we assess the damage and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused. 

"The Co-op takes retail crime very seriously and implements a range of measures to both deter criminal activity and to aid convictions. We appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the police.”