A SLEDGEHAMMER is believed to have been used to gain access to two shops in burglaries last week.

Windows were smashed at the Nisa shop in Winterslow Road, Salisbury at about 2:15am on Tuesday morning, followed by another burglary attempt at 2:40am at the Spa shop in Beech Hill, Tidworth.

On both occasions, windows were smashed with what is believed to have been a sledgehammer, and on both occasions attempts were made to access the cigarettes, and cigarettes and alcohol were stolen from the shop in Tidworth.

The suspects of the burglary in the Nisa shop made off in a dark vehicle.

Details of the vehicle were passed to police by a witness, and searches were carried out.

Officers carried out searches of the area for the vehicle which the suspects of the Tidworth burglary were believed to be travelling in and it was found crashed into a tree near the A338 at Cholderton at approximately 2.45am.

Cigarettes and alcohol were located inside the vehicle along with a sledgehammer.

The occupants decamped and area searches were carried out with assistance from Hampshire Constabulary.

A 21-year-old man from Southampton was arrested near the scene on suspicion of burglary and was taken to Melksham custody for questioning.

He has since been released under investigation.

Det Con Mark Welch said: “We’d like to thank the members of the public who reported these incidents to police and provided us with descriptions of those involved as well as the vehicle they were travelling in.

“While we have made one arrest, we believe one man is still outstanding and we would urge anyone with information to contact us.

"We are continuing with our enquiries into these incidents which we are treating as linked.

"Significant damage was caused to both premises and we are keen to hear from anyone who can help.”

Anyone with information should call 101 and quote crime reference number 54190004598.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.