A GANG of young shoplifters were busted after their bounty of sweets and chocolate was discovered by police.

Several boxes of Ferrero Rocher along with Cadbury’s Milk Trays, a box of Lindt chocolates and even cuts of meat were found when the Blackburn Neighbourhood Policing team swooped on the gang’s hideout.

Officers started investigating the spate of thefts after shop owners reported the goings-on to the police.

A spokesman said: “A recent gang of young shoplifters have been hitting stores in the Cherry Tree and Mill Hill areas recently and helping themselves to confectionery.

“Their ‘hangout’ was discovered by the team and over £300 worth of confectionery was recovered.

“It has been returned to the respected stores and CCTV is being collated to identify the offenders.

“We have identified several individuals who are now very much on Santa's ‘naughty list’ and they can expect a knock on the door in the coming days. We ask all stores to be vigilant.”