AN ALDERSHOT shop owner was undertaking a clear up operation on Tuesday after thieves smashed their way through the front window to steal equipment.

The incident happened shortly after midnight on Sunday when a van pulled up outside CDS Cleaning Supplies in Ash Road.

Men wearing baseball caps and balaclavas got out and used sledgehammers to smash through the front doors.

They grabbed two Karcher hot pressure washers, which were worth about £10,000.

Alan Emmott, who runs the shop with his son Darren, said on Tuesday: "Nothing else was taken, nothing from the till.

"I think it must have been to order or something and I just wanted to let other people know to be careful.

"Two people came in last week and were finding out all the prices for everything," he added.

"I suppose that's what you call casing the joint."

He added: "We're just getting the doors replaced now and we will probably have to put some shutters up as well."

Members of staff at the neighbouring shop, the Istanbul Grill, were cleaning up at the end of their day when the van pulled up.

They called the police but were unable to say how many were involved in the theft.

The whole thing probably took less than two minutes.

A spokesman for Aldershot police said: "It appears that a white van was seen near the scene at about the relevant time but I don't have any further information on that.

"They've smashed through the glass panel front door to get into the shop and then took two large industrial cleaners.

"Other than this van being seen nearby we haven't got much more to go on at the moment.

"A scene of crime examination has been carried out and we're waiting for the results of that.

"We are appealing for any witnesses to come forward if they saw anything around that time."

Anyone with information about the van or the men involved is asked to contact Pc Steve Swan at Aldershot Police Station on 0845 045 45 45.