THOUSANDS of pounds-worth of mobile phones were stolen in a raid on a games store.

Two balaclava-clad burglars used a crowbar to break into Games @ Nine in Nelson and took a safe containing more than 30 electronic devices, valued at £8,000.

Several mobiles were in the safe, including iPhones, Samsungs and a Nokia, as well as an iPad and some cash.

The two men, who are believed to have been aided by an accomplice, left the Scotland Road store and used a bicycle to wheel away the safe, balanced on the handlebars.

Police were called shortly after the raid which took place between 5.30am and 6am on Sunday. Business owner Jay Hussain said: “I have been here for 35 years and I was so surprised how easy it was for them.”

The store’s CCTV system recorded the break-in, which shows the burglars tampering with the shop’s shutter switch and repeatedly kicking the door. Mr Hussain, who had locked-up after closing the store on Saturday, said the £3,000 invested in the shutter apparatus had been wasted.

The 56-year-old said: “External switches are totally useless. I will be telling shop-owners close to me that if you have external switches get them changed.”

The raiders caused about £100 damage to the front door, the business owner added.

Nasser Hussain, 37, a mobile phone technician at the store, said: “It was a shock. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.

“The police had been and gone by the time I arrived later that day.

“I know we probably won’t get any of the stock back but as long as the police get hold of whoever has done this then the thieves won’t be able to do it to anyone else.”

Police said no arrests have been made but enquiries continue.

A spokesman said: “We were called to Scotland Road, Nelson, to reports of a burglary at around 5.50am on Sunday.

“More than one person entered the shop, took a safe and then left.”

If anyone has any information, contact the police on 101 referencing log number 293 of January 13.