A MAN was attacked as he attempted to stop four raiders from carrying out a burglary in a New Forest village at the weekend.

The incident happened sometime between 3.30am and 4am on Saturday, March 16 in Silver Street, Hordle. The victim, 31, challenged the burglars after spotting them attempting to break into a shipping container.

One of the offenders hit the victim with a 'large metal object' before all four ran off. The victim suffered bruising to his side, but did not need to go to hospital.

The attempt is being linked to two further crimes.

One is a break in at another shipping container in Silver Street on the same day. The burglary took place sometime between 4am and 5.30am. Tools were taken from inside. However, the stolen items have since been recovered.

The second linked incident is a raid in Sway Road, Pennington sometime between 5pm on March 16 and 8.45am the following day. An attempt was made to break into a garage. Nothing was stolen.

Police say some 26 burglaries to outbuildings, including shipping containers, garages and sheds, have been carried out in Lymington and the surrounding villages within the past month.

PCSO Stuart Readhead of Hampshire police said: “We believe these three incidents are linked and we’re investigating.

“We would like to hear from anyone who thinks they have information about what happened."

Anyone with further details should call police on 101 quoting 44190056105.

Police said there has been a spate of offending in the area. In some cases, offenders have broken padlocks on garages and outbuildings and stolen tools from inside.

Officers are investigating to see if more of the incidents are linked.