BURGLARS using cutting equipment escaped with 103 mobile phones from an Aldershot shop on St Valentine's Day.

They also pocketed £2,700 worth of phone vouchers in the late evening raid on Phones 4 U in Union Street. The thieves entered the shop at about 10.30pm by forcing a rear door.

Once inside they used oxy-acetylene equipment to open a metal security cage used to store mobile phones. The villains are believed to have escaped in a white van.

Police believe that people in the town centre at the time of the raid may be able to provide them with vital clues. "This was a busy time when pubs and fast food outlets were about to close," said Detective Constable Graeme Aggar who is heading the inquiry.

He appealed to anyone who heard or saw anything unusual to contact Aldershot CID on 0845 045 45 45.

"In particular we want to hear from anyone who saw a white vehicle leaving the scene of the burglary," added DC Aggar.

A Phones 4 U spokeswoman said the stolen phones were simply handsets and were not programmed with airtime. "This will reduce their value quite considerably when the thieves try to sell them," she said.