CROOKS escaped with thousands of pounds after targeting two Maldon pubs on the same night.

The victim of one of the raids – which are not believed to be linked – said he felt “violated” after a burglar smashed his way into the building.

The White Horse Inn, in High Street, was broken into at 8pm on Saturday, November 2.

Staff said a door had been ripped off its hinges.

The burglar had walked upstairs to a communal area where rooms are let and found a door which was locked with a keypad.

Staff did not realise what had happened until the following day because it had been a busy night with Rugby World Cup screenings.

Bar manager John Campbell said he felt “violated” because his family live in the building.

He said: “It was the Rugby World Cup day and the house was full, so we didn’t know anything until the morning.

“He’d ripped the door off its hinges and the frame was all wrecked.

“We’ve spent about £400 on new locks to tighten security.”

Nothing was stolen and CCTV images have been passed to police.

They say the suspect was wearing a grey Nike tracksuit.

Mr Campbell said: “Hopefully the police will be able to catch him.

“I feel violated. At the end of the day it’s our business but it’s also where we live.

“I take it personally – it’s just like someone breaking into your home.”

The Queens Head at The Hythe was broken into at around 8.50pm the same night.

A man believed to be in his thirties got into the private staff area of the pub and broke into the office.

He grabbed thousands of pounds from the safe before fleeing from the scene.

A police spokesman said: “He was believed to have been travelling in a blue Ford Fiesta driving back up The Hythe in the direction of North Road and the High Street.

Police want to speak to a man who was caught on CCTV. A police spokesman said: “We would ask if you were in the pub at the time either witnessed the incident or have any mobile phone photos or footage to call the Maldon local policing team on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/174654/19.”

The police say they are not linking the two incidents at this time.

Anyone with information about the White Horse burglary should call 101 quoting reference 42/174850/19.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting