RESIDENTS have expressed their concern after a convenience store was broken into in Romsey.

The Co-op in Winchester Hill in Romsey was broken into at 2am on January 7.

According to Hampshire police cigarettes and tobacco products were stolen.

The shop and the Texaco garage have been sealed off and closed.

The news comes after the store was broken into on December 28.

According to police two men forced entry into the store but they fled the scene when the smoke cloak was activated.

Nick Michell, 42, a business owner and town councillor who lives in the area said: "There was a break in there about a week ago.

"It was during the Christmas period.

"I woke at at 4:30am and when I looked out my window I could see a man trying to get cigarettes from the sales desk.

"There is a lot of crime going on in Romsey and I'm very worried about."

Mr Michell said he thinks there needs to be an "increased in police presence" in the area.

He added: "Crime has been bad in this area for the past four years.

"It's not good for the shop.

"They are losing business as they have had to close."

John Betteridge, 80, a retired building surveyor who has lived in the area for 40 years said:"The shop has been targeted before.

"It was broken into over Christmas.

"It's an easy target, they can easily get in through the shutters but I don't no what the answer is in stopping it happen.

"I'm not worried about residential homes being targeted but there are some vulnerable houses here."

Facebook users also took to social media to express their concern.

One person said: " It was quiet! We never used to have anything like this! It’s getting ridiculous!"

Another social media user posted: "We have lived here for two years, absolutely love Romsey!

"Don't let the minority ruin it for the majority. !

"Unfortunately due to budget cuts on our public services i.e police, the culprits know that they easily have at least 20 mins before the police will turn up as we have no response officers based in Romsey now."

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police said: "Officers are investigating following a burglary at the Co-op, Winchester Hill, Romsey.

"The incident happened at around 2am on Monday, 7 January.

"A quantity of cigarettes and tobacco products were stolen.

"Anyone with information should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting 44190006994."