A CHEEKY thief walked into a Hampshire business, helped himself to the week's takings... and then asked if they had any jobs going.

Staff at the family-owned catering company were left stunned by the intruder's comment, which made to a cleaner as he calmly walked out of the building after stealing a "really large" sum of money.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the daylight theft took place at BJ's of Ringwood, based on the town's Hightown Industrial Estate.

The thief entered the building shortly after 2pm and made his way past a cleaner on the ground floor while owner Ben Jennings was outside paying wages to his sandwich van staff.

After reaching an upstairs office he forced open a locked cash drawer and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Now it has emerged that he enquired if the company had any vacancies as he left the building.

Mr Jennings said: "He asked the cleaner if there were any jobs going, she said 'no' and he just walked out before getting on his bike and riding off."

The shocked businessman described the daylight theft - and the thief's subsequent comment - as "brazen" and "bizarre".

He added: "I wouldn't have thought in a million years that someone would have done that.

"This was our fifth break-in but all the previous ones were in the middle of the night. This is the first time it has ever happened in the day."

Mr Jennings refused to reveal how much was taken in the latest raid but said the thief made off with a "really large" amount of money.

PC Jonathan York said: "The theft of the week's takings, which were ready to be banked, has had a significant impact on this family-owned business."

The theft took place on March 3. The suspect is described as white, about 6ft, medium build with black hair and a prominent jaw. He was wearing a black jacket, light blue jeans, black gloves and distinctive sunglasses.

Nearby Doughty Engineering in Crow Arch Lane was hit by a similar theft on the same day but police say the two incidents are not currently being linked.