POLICE have launched an investigation after a Romsey convenience store was burgled at the weekend.

Officers were alerted to the crime at The Co-operative Food in Winchester Hill after a number of cigarettes were stolen from the store.

Hampshire police have issued an appeal for witnesses to the incident which happened on Sunday, February 2 at 2.16am.

Now Romsey residents have urged the store to increase their security following a "spate of burglaries" which have hit the town.

Cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "I am shocked because they only had their refurbishment done last year and it was closed for several weeks.

"They have had three burglaries within the last two years so I think they really need to look at increasing their security.

"The last time people went through the roof because they knew where the cigarettes were in the Co-op."

She added: "I would be surprised if no one saw anything; I would ask everybody to be really aware as there has been an increase of theft in this area and to ring the police if they see anything suspicious."

Cllr Janet Burnage, who represents Romsey Cupernham on the borough council, said: "It is just a shame as we seem to have a spate of burglaries in Romsey at the moment and every retailer has to be as secure as they can.

"I know the police are aware and now it has been reported they can worked to find the perpetrators of the crime.

"I like to think the police will now increase their patrols in Romsey."

Cllr Mark Cooper, who represents Romsey Tadburn on the borough council, said: "It is unfortunate and hopefully all the CCTV around the premises will give some positive leads.

"I spoke to the police not long ago and they said the rate of burglaries in the Test Valley area is significantly lower for the country."

A spokesperson from the Southern Co-op said: "We're working closely with Hampshire police and would urge anyone with information relating to this incident to speak to the police.

"We'd like to thank the community for their patience and understanding.

"Our colleagues worked hard to reopen the store as soon as possible."

A spokesperson from Hampshire police said: "Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44200040969."

The store reopened at 2.30pm on Monday, February 3.