Thieves who smashed their way into a forecourt store in Warwickshire stole an unknown amount of cigarettes, scratch cards and cash despite setting off a smoke cloaking device.

The raid was carried out at Applegreen’s BP site opposite George Eliot Hospital on the A444 in Nuneaton.

The criminals smashed through a wall of the store to get in just before 5am on Wednesday August 17.

Police responded to an alarm sounding at the garage and called in help from Nuneaton Fire Station to help clear the smoke cloak, which had filled the building with smoke.

Once the building had been cleared, officers launched an investigation and found some of the stolen items nearby.

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “At 4.41am on Wednesday August 17, police became aware of an alarm being activated at a service station off the A444.

“Officers arrived at the scene at 4.50am and, seeing that the building was full of smoke, called Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. At the same time, they found that the doors had been forced and that there was a hole in the wall.

“E-cigarettes, scratch cards and cash were stolen. Later that morning, a bag containing some of the stolen items was discovered close to the scene.”

Anyone who can help the investigation with information is asked to call police on 101, citing incident number 46 of August 17, or details can be passed on to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.