A SPATE of restaurant burglaries have taken place across Romsey and the Test Valley, with five incidents in one month.

Officers received reports of five burglaries this month in Romsey and North Baddesley, with thieves hitting restaurants and proceeding to take tills and cash.

The first incident reported to police took place at around 9.15pm on Thursday, January 16, at the Chef Peking restaurant in Winchester Road, Romsey.

Three men entered the takeaway - one of them jumped over the counter and stole a cash box on the counter.

Police say around 9.40pm on Thursday, January 23, a man entered the Sheung Moon Takeaway in Botley Road, North Baddesley, leant over the counter and stole cash from a cash tin.

The third incident was reported to have taken place at the Water Margin restaurant in Botley Road, North Baddesley, sometime between 11pm on Thursday, January 23 and 10.30am the following day.

An attempt had been made to enter the building, but nothing was taken.

Reportedly, the fourth incident took place at the Mandarin Chef restaurant in Winchester Road, Crampmoor, sometime between 8pm and 8.30pm on Saturday, January 25.

A group of men entered a living area above the restaurant and stole cash.

Police say the fifth incident took place at Natraj the restaurant in Stirling Walk, Romsey, at around 3.30am on Monday, January 27.

The restaurant was hit by thieves and a till containing cash was taken.

A police spokesperson said: "Officers are currently investigating these incidents and we are looking to see if they are linked."

Deputy leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Nick Adams-King said: "From what I have seen, all businesses have done the right thing.

"The thieves targeted tills which ended up having a small amount of money in. You are best to lock your money away.

"If they go for stock then you can't really do much to prevent that, apart from locking away expensive items."

He added: "I know the police can't do an awful lot with one incident but I do know they look for trends and look for what people target if it is the same person."

Inspector Chris Taylor said: “Our enquiries are ongoing but if you have any information about any of these incidents, please get in touch by calling 101.

“These are all independent businesses and such incidents can have a large impact.

“While we will continue to follow our lines of enquiry, we would like remind business owners to look at their security measures and practices.

“This includes not keeping cash in tills overnight, to not hold high amounts of cash in tills during trading hours and to use bolted-down safes with a time lock and anti-tamper sensors that trigger an alarm.”