BUSINESS owners across Bournemouth have been warned to be on their guard after more than 100 commercial break-ins in less than three months.

Thousands of pounds worth of computers, CCTV systems and cash have been stolen by raiders who forced their way in to commercial premises across the town.

Shop owners in Boscombe's Royal Arcade were greeted by damage and theft when they opened up for business on Christmas Eve.

And scores of others have been targeted since mid-October, particularly in the town centre, Winton, Boscombe, Pokesdown and Southbourne areas.

Police said a number of arrests have been made and urged people to "consider their security."

They also warned against leaving cash in business premises overnight.

A shop owner in the Royal Arcade, who did not wish to be named, told the Daily Echo: "Burglars had forced their way in to five shops in a row and we found the damage on Christmas Eve, which was horrible.

"Any cash that had been left overnight was taken, along with CCTV equipment and laptops. Doors and windows had been broken to get in.

"They took a number of small things from my shop and even helped themselves to some food from my snack draw. It seems they were quite calm and relaxed while they were here."

Entry was made into this particular store by breaking through a wall at the back of the premises.

The shop owner added that police officers said they had not seen a burglary carried out in this way to a retail premises in the area before.

The shop was left in such a state after the break in that it had only been fully cleared and rearranged on Saturday.

A staff worker at nearby Greggs said computer equipment had been stolen in mid-December.

Det Insp Neil Wright, Priority and Volume Crime for Dorset Police, said it is essential members of the business community keep each other informed and implement security measures.

He said: "We are following all lines of enquiry available to us to find those responsible and bring them to justice. While officers continue to investigate, we are asking business owners to work with us by reporting anything suspicious which can help us build an even greater understanding.

"Please also talk to and look out for your neighbouring businesses and review the security measures you have in place to reduce any risk."

You can find information on securing your business at or to report an incident call 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.