A SPATE of "daunting" break-ins has hit a row of businesses in Hedge End overnight.

Hedge End Cabs, The Codfather and Hello Kitchen Chinese, which are all situated on Botley Road, were targets of the break-ins on Tuesday night, and they all found out about the damage just before they started work on Wednesday morning.

It is the first time the chinese takeaway has faced an incident like this, who said their "front door is damaged beyond repair".

Joe, who is the owner of Hello Kitchen Chinese, said: "I was driving in and noticed the door was boarded up. They took a couple of boxes of noodles. Our till is also gone and our computer is broken, while the front door is damaged beyond repair."

Fish and chip shop The Codfather faced the least damage, with one employee saying that nothing was taken from them.

He, who did not want to be named, said: "I received a text from the owner saying we had been broken into. The lock is broken on our front door, but nothing was taken."

According to the taxi company, thieves smashed their wall and stole around £500 in cash.

Jane Miller, director of Hedge End Cabs, said: "It's quite daunting opening up here at 5.30am. It's pretty scary because you just question are they still there? There is a lot of damage, including a smashed wall, damaged alarm system, and they've kicked the internal doors in. They have taken laptops and ipads, and penny money.

"As a taxi company, we are at the point now where we feel like we can't leave someone here."

She said that they used to be open overnight but that they have recently been closed from midnight to 6am.

Jane added: "It had to be someone who knew about these closing times. They tore the paperwork out of the cupboards and even got into the penny tray which is under lock and key.

"They smashed the tray and took about £400 to £500, which was clearly a lot to them. It's awful - I'm not going to leave stuff in here anymore. I can't put people's lives at risk."

However, the police said "nothing has been reported as stolen".

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: "We received a report of a burglary at a business address on Botley Road between 10pm 19 November and 2.28am today 20 November. Nothing has been reported as stolen at this time.

"If anyone has any information please call the police on 101 quoting crime reference number 44190416718."