CROOKS targeted a Maldon butchers, using a shovel to break in to steal cash and a pack of sausages.

Meatline Butchers, in West Station Industrial Estate on Spital Road, were targeted by crooks overnight on Tuesday.

The thieves used a shovel to break through the back door before searching for cash through the offices’ various drawers, taking around £100 worth of cash and cheques as well as a pack of the butcher’s award winning “Welsh Dragon” sausages on the way out.

Police have visited the site to take forensic evidence and are investigating. Meatline’s CCTV footage caught the crooks whilst they conducted their sausage raid.

Wesley Sins, one of Meatline’s directors, said: “Whilst the guys didn’t appear to know the site, the footage shows they knew what they were doing.

“They did have a key, which we have no idea how they got, but that wouldn’t work in the door, so they resorted to using a shovel to bash the door open.

“They were rummaging around in all the drawers in the office. I imagine someone somewhere tipped them off about it, they knew what they were doing.

“They only took around £100 worth of things, our insurance excess is beyond that so it’s not worth claiming.

“It’s just frustrating at the damage they do, the problems it causes. They took some cheques which we had made out to some charities we sponsor which is the most frustrating thing.”

Mr Sins added: “The most bizarre thing is them taking a single pack of the Welsh Dragon sausages. Clearly they knew how good they are and what awards they’ve won.

“It could have been the case where they broke in for the sausages and picked up some cash on the side, who knows.”

Essex Police are investigating the incident. On their advice, we have covered the faces of the suspects pictured.

Call 101 with information.