RAIDERS smashed a van through roller doors to steal £12,000-worth of tools from a Christchurch garage.

They used crowbars to prise a tool chest from the floor and bundled it into a van before fleeing the scene.

The incident took place at Winkton Auto Centre and now the furious owner has released CCTV images in a bid to help police track down the offenders.,

Shaun Critchley told the Daily Echo that a white Peugeot Boxer van was used to crash through the doors at 11.45pm on Monday.

He said the van pulled up on the driveway of the Salisbury Road garage and the lights were switched off.

There were four occupants in the van and they shone torches through the garage windows before crashing through the roller door.

He added: “The tool chest was secured to the floor but they managed to get it off using crowbars. It took them quite a long time.

“There are three of us that work her so this leaves one mechanic without any tools. We a lost a day’s work on Tuesday because we had to clear the place up and make it secure and it’s going to make life difficult for us.”

Mr Critchley, who has owned the garage for 20 years, said the owner of the tools is currently away on holiday.

He added: “The tools chests are secured to the floor and it took about six or seven minutes for them to break it off.

“There are a lot of properties around us and one of our neighbours heard a bang.

“At first he thought it was a car accident but when he came out of his house to have a look he saw the van driving off and realised what had happened.”

He said two of the burglars concentrated on the tool chest while another looked around the incident of the premises and a fourth man remained outside as a lookout.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “Dorset Police received a report at 11.49pm on Monday June 17 of a break in at Winkton Auto Centre on Salisbury Road in Christchurch.

“It was reported that a vehicle reversed into the building causing damage to shutters. Officers attended and carried out a search of the area. No arrests have been made and enquiries into the incident are ongoing.”

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.