BURGLARS broke into a pharmacy and made off with the till drawer.

Police were called just after midnight on Friday after reports the Dedham Pharmacy in the village’s High Street had been broken into.

Two people were seen fleeing the scene carrying the cash drawer.

The pharmacy declined to comment about the break-in but had remained open despite the raid.

Social distancing measures brought in since the coronavirus outbreak has led to an increased workload for the pharmacy, as well as people having to queue outside.

Chairman of Dedham Parish Council Sheila Beeton said she was stunned people would raid the store.

“I’m absolutely horrified to hear about it,” she said.

“I think it is absolutely appalling anybody would look to exploit the situation we find ourselves in at the moment.

“We have a number of shops in Dedham but most of them are geared up towards the tourism industry so they are closed at the moment.

“In fact, the only two which are open are the pharmacy and the Co-op and quite frankly, they have been doing amazingly.”

Mrs Beeton said the council along with their counterparts in Ardleigh had been working alongside vicar the Rev Anthony Wilson to set up a helpline service for those in need.

She said: “Times of crisis really do bring out the very best and the very worst in people.

“The community effort has been fantastic but to think somebody would break into the pharmacy really does horrify me.

“Whether they were opportunists or a bit more organised we will probably never know.

“I will go to the pharmacy and offer our support so they know they are not alone.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said urged anyone who saw anything to come forward.

He said: “We are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone local who has CCTV, to come forward if they can assist us with our inquiries.

“Please call 101 and quote the crime reference number 42/49640/20.

“If you wish to remain anonymous you can speak to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.”

Details can also be given online at crimestoppers-uk.org.