BURGLARS ransacked a convenience store last night – causing extensive damage inside and escaping with a haul of cigarettes and cash.

The Co-op store in Chain Lane was broken into at 10.25pm on Monday night, police have confirmed.

Police patrols discovered that a side shutter had been damaged, a door forced and a ceiling panel pulled down.

Cigarettes and smashed bottles were left strewn over the floor and a quantity of cash was taken from the ATM.

Police say burglars "caused significant damage inside the store".

The shop was searched by police but the offenders had left the scene.

A police spokesman said: "They are believed to have stolen a quantity of cigarettes however at this early stage the full extent of what has been taken is not known.

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"A full forensic search by crime scene investigators is taking place this morning. Officers are carrying out house-to-house enquiries in the area and obtaining CCTV."

St Helens Star:

Shutters remained down on the Co-op store in Chain Lane last night (pic Robbob)

Anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area last night or during the early hours is asked to contact @MerPolCC, quoting reference 19100181014 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.