THREE Ledbury businesses have been left counting the cost after burglars went on a would-be break in spree in the town centre.

In each case, the intruders targeted the rear of Homend properties and used force in a bid to break down doors into the shops.

But in each case, they failed to gain access.

Two back doors were actually taken off their hinges by the crooks, in an aborted bid to gain access to The Chocolate Box.

But the intruders still failed to get into the shop and left empty-handed.

Chocolate Box manager, Lunn Hodgins said: "The amount of damage they caused was crazy. They took out two doors.

"Now we have to pay the excess on our insurance, which is £250 before you start."

Another Homend business targeted was the Llandinabo Farm Shop, where a steel door did good service in keeping the burglars out.

Farm Shop spokesman, Mike Bodenham said: "We managed to fix the door ourselves. I would say they used a crowbar and their feet. There were boot marks on the door; but it is a metal door.

"The cost to us is inconvenience, I am afraid."

The intruders also attempted to force a rear door at JB Gaynans and Sons, the jewellers.

But owner Karen Owens said: "It was a very feeble attempt. I don't think a lot of thought went into it."

Police say because the offences took place to the rear of the properties, CCTV footage from the town centre will not help.

And uncertainty surrounds the actual time of the attempted burglaries, because the shops had been locked up after Saturday trading, on August 2, and the damaged was only found on Monday morning, August 4.

Anyone with information should phone West Mercia Police, on 101.