THREE men have been charged in connection with two thefts which took place on the same night.

A Co-op store in Sible Hedingham and a hardware store in Earls Colne were broken into on April 4.

Police were called shortly after 3.30am with reports of a burglary at Fork 'Andles hardware store in Earls Colne.

Suspects reportedly forced their way into the shop on High Street and five charity boxes were stolen.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were then called around 4am with reports that entry had been forced into the store on Swan Street and cigarettes had been stolen.

"Acting upon information and working alongside colleagues from Suffolk Police, officers went to an address on Elm Close in Haverhill."

Jamie Darby, 38 of Westfield, Sudbury, Paul Batterby, 39 of Eastern Avenue, Haverhill and Jonathon Jolly of Dunsey Wood Close, Haverhill, have all been charged with two counts of burglary.

They are due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on May 3.