A NEWSAGENT is warning residents to be extra vigilant after his family’s shop was raided by crooks.

Thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes as well as cash during a raid at NMK Newsagents, in

Main Road, Dovercourt, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Together, the stolen items were worth an estimated £7,000.

Nitesh Patel, who is the shop owner’s son, said his mother Ramila heard footsteps and saw torches shining in the shop at about 3am.

He said she saw someone, but could not see their face, so she went upstairs and woke him up.

Nitesh, 44, said: “I called the police straight away at 3.19am and they arrived in about 45 minutes. I understand there are cuts to the police force, but these officers had to come from Clacton.

“They got here as quickly as possible, but if there was a patrol car they might have been able to get these thieves.”

The crooks broke in via the front window of the shop and took all the cigarettes and money from the till.

Nitesh said: “The cost of the stolen goods and money came to the value of about £7,000.

“I would like to tell people to be vigilant. It’s not fair and these people should be caught.”

The theft comes less than two weeks after another newsagents was raided in nearby Gravel Hill Way, Dovercourt.

The first incident happened at Foleys between 9.30pm on Monday, September 16, and 5.05am on Tuesday, September 17.

Thousands of pounds worth of cigarettes, scratch cards, and hundreds of pounds in cash were stolen during the raid.

The CCTV monitors and a storage box were also taken.

Harwich councillor Ivan Henderson said: “I am really concerned because we have been assured on a number of occasions that we have really good police cover in Harwich.”

If you have any information call Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also report incidents online on essex.police.uk.