THIS is the moment that a masked gang smashed their way into a Hampshire post office.

The hooded thieves can be seen clambering over the front counter and crashing through shop displays before escaping with a huge haul of cigarettes in a sack which one of them has hoisted over their back.

The smash and grab raiders’ spree at the Whalesmead Post Office and Newsagent, in Fair Oak, was caught on security cameras as they jumped over the counter and helped themselves to hundreds of pounds’ worth of stock.

The gang of five, who can be seen wearing hooded tops, pulled up outside the shop on three motorbikes before forcing their way inside.

Armed with a drain cover, one of them smashed through the front window pane, allowing his accomplices to climb over the broken glass.

Once inside they headed straight to the front counter, rifling through scratch card displays and loading tobacco, stored in rows behind the counter, into post office bags.

The burglars were disturbed in their raid at the Fair Oak Road post office, and made a run for it with their loot in tow, getting back onto the motorbikes.

Fortunately, as the motorbikes sped off, one of the raiders dropped a bag with a large amount of cigarettes in it, which the postmaster quickly then retrieved.

But their total haul was still £644 of cigarettes, £175 cash and £45 worth of scratch cards.

CCTV cameras captured the raid, shortly before 3am last Wednesday, which was all over in under two minutes.

Officers are not linking the incident to Operation Drench, which was launched in February to investigate numerous cigarette raids across Hampshire.

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call PC Harris at Eastleigh police station on 101.