AN INVESTIGATION has been launched by police after three masked males armed with an axe and metal pole broke into a shop.

The burglars were spotted by two ambulance crew members after hearing an alarm at One Stop store on Fairview Parade, Hythe.

Raiders ran from the scene during the early hours of Sunday after the ambulance members parked outside the shop front.

One of the emergency crew said he “grabbed” one of the men, but he escaped soon after.

A councillor applauded the ambulance's quick reactions.

Councillor for Furzedown and Hardley Mark Clark said: “I applaud the actions of public-spirited ambulance employees who took immediate action in trying to prevent this burglary.”

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: “We were called at 2.08am on Sunday 6 October to a report of a burglary at the One Stop store in Fairview Parade, Hythe.

“Entry was forced to the store. Three people were seen to run from the scene, after paramedics, who were nearby and were alerted by an alarm, attended. No injuries were reported.

"An investigation is underway to establish the exact details of what took place. No arrests have been made at this stage.

“Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting 44190356622.”

Councillor Mark Clark added: “Thank goodness there was no serious injury to them. There have been various attacks on small shops in the area, and it is urgent that we look at night time policing to deter future burglaries.”