BRAZEN thieves smashed their way into a motorbike shop in usually peaceful Hampshire village.

The ramraiders struck at Husky Sport in Cheriton near Alresford at around 10.30-10.45pm last night.

They used a Land Rover to crash through the protective screen and glass windows before taking a number of the off-road bikes.

A villager, who asked not to be named, today said there had been two loud bangs and two attempts to break in.

He said this morning: "I heard it, a bang. I went out because I thought someone had hit my car. I saw a Land Rover and another vehicle that was pulling a horse box and I heard voices.

"They must have realised I was there as I had a torch.

"I went back indoors and ten minutes later there was an almighty crash and I saw people taking bikes out of the shop. I called the police and they (the raiders) made off a little bit quick. I didn't frighten them. They were absolutely brass necked taking the bikes.

"I saw a 15-16 year old in a grey tracksuit and hoodie top taking a bike. They left the Land Rover in the middle of the road with the engine running. The police arrived about 15-20 minutes later. I didn't get to sleep until 2.30am the adrenalin was running."

The police have appealed for witnesses. Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44180427068.

Husky Sports, which has been based in the village for years, was unavailable for comment.

The raid comes a week after a digger was used to smash into the Tesco Express in Springvale Road in Kings Worthy.