THIEVES swiped hundreds of pounds worth of gas from a scout troop during a daring daylight raid.

Loddon District scout leaders were stunned to discover the wire cage around six cannisters had been 'ripped apart' when they returned to the storage facility on Waingels Road, Twyford.

Stuart Johnson, district explorer scout commissioner, told the Chronicle that the break-in was a 'significant setback' to future plans.

The thieves are believed to have jumped over the fence and broken in, before taking £260 worth of gas at around 1.30pm on April 12.

Stuart said: "We do a lot of fundraising every year to make sure we have enough funds to run activities for all the children.

"It might not seem like a lot of money but to us this is a significant setback and it means we are not able to move forward as we had planned.

"It is open to the elements so we have made efforts to put a fence and a gate in, but people are still able to get onto the field.

"We had plans moving forward and now they will have to be put on hold while we replace what has been taken.

Loddon District Explorer Scouts caters for more than 3,000 people and the 14-18 year olds meet three times a week.

Scout leaders think the thieves may have been caught on CCTV, but they would like to hear from anyone who spotted suspicious activity on the Paddicks Patch campsite.

Stuart added: "On top of the gas, we will also have to replace the wire cage that they ripped apart.

"It is not the first we have had a problem like this, but we have never had someone steal gas from us before.

"This sort of thing puts a lot more pressure onto our volunteers and is a strain on our time and resources to fix what they have broken."

Call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference number 43180111371, if you have any information.