A PUB landlord says he felt “violated” after a burglar crept in and raided his pub while he was asleep upstairs.

The Royal Oak pub in Hazeleigh was burgled on Monday at 1.15am by a crook who raided the cupboards before dismantling the till.

Cash from the till’s float as well as money from the pub’s own lottery draw competition were taken.

Pub landlord Kim Broadhurst, 64, said he was asleep in bed with his wife when the incident happened.

Mr Broadhurst said: “It looks like he climbed over the garden gate and used something to break into the double-glazed patio doors.

“He then made his way through the pub, looking through all the cupboards.

“He then, very professionally, dismantled the computerised till, took it outside to the garden and opened it.

“He left the charity boxes.”

Mr Broadhurst came downstairs in the morning to find the curtains blowing in the wind from where the doors had been forced open.

The till was left on a bench outside with nothing but coins in it.

Mr Broadhurst said: “I thought ‘I’m sure I locked up here’ and then your heart gets hit.

“I’ve been here six years, and this has never happened to me before.

“We just have to put in more security measures like CCTV cameras.

“We feel awful. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling and I feel totally insecure now.

“Whoever it was, they must have known what they were doing because they knew exactly how to get in through these secure doors.”

The pub did manage to capture footage of the intruder on CCTV which has now been handed to the police.

A police spokesman said: “We were called at 10.10am on Monday, July 8 to reports of a burglary at the Royal Oak pub in Fambridge Road.

“It was reported a till and a three-figure sum of cash was taken.”

Anyone with information should call the police on 101 quoting incident 303 of July 8 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.