THREE men wearing balaclavas have broken into a North Yorkshire shop and stolen a large number of cigarettes.

The men broke into the Spar shop in Market Place, Kirkbymoorside, at about 3am - before making off with a “large quantity of cigarettes”, a spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said.

Officers went to the scene when the burglar alarm was activated and an extensive area search was carried out throughout the early hours of the morning.

Neighbouring police forces are assisting the hunt for the suspects.

Detective Sergeant Ken Proctor, of Scarborough CID, said: “We are doing everything we can to trace the suspects and bring them to justice.

“As part of our ongoing enquiries, we are appealing for witnesses to come forward or anyone with information about suspicious individuals or vehicles in the Kirkbymoorside area, particularly in the Market Place of the town.

“If you can help, even with just a small piece of information, please do the right thing and contact the police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.”

Crime scene investigators are forensically examining the shop, which has been cordoned off and remains closed to the public at this time.

CCTV footage in the area is also being analysed by the investigation team.

Contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Scarborough CID or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.