Homeless people and drug dealers have been blamed for a shop raid where thousands of pounds were stolen.

Beauty Palace in High Street, Southend, was raided in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The crooks smashed a window to gain entry to the shop and left a trail of destruction behind.

Owner Maisam Govani, 29, said: “Some of our neighbours told us about what happened.

“When we got to the shop we saw what had happened there.

“We have lost business, customers and so much due to this.

“There was about £3,000 in the till that was taken. I think it is homeless people or drug dealers who are doing this.

“When we got to the shop the morning after this happened, we were feeling stressed and were panicking, as we did not know what we were going to.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called shortly after 7.40am on Thursday, August 30 with reports of a burglary at Beauty Palace in High Street, Southend.

“It was broken into sometime between 6pm on Wednesday and 7.15am on Thursday and the till was stolen.”

“A crime scene investigator attended to carry out a forensic examination and CCTV footage is being reviewed. Enquiries are ongoing. Witnesses or anyone with information call 101 quoting reference 42/125410/18.”

A spokesperson for South Essex Homes said: “We recently met with residents of Barringtons to discuss ongoing issues at the block and we can reassure them that we are working closely with our colleagues at Essex Police, the Southend Multi Agency ASB Response Team (SMAART) and other local agencies to identify effective resolutions.”