THIEVES used the distraction of a Six Nations rugby game to steal a safe from a popular Puriton pub.

The criminals broke into The Puriton Inn at around 9.10pm on Saturday, February 2, while the pub was busy downstairs after screening the England v Ireland game.

The thieves stole a safe along with a number of other items, in what is believed to have been a planned burglary.

They reportedly barricaded the side private door to the pub with bins before making their escape.

Landlord Christell March, who has run The Puriton Inn for 14 years, said: “It is horrible to think someone has been into our home, especially while the pub was still open.

“We are a small family-run village pub, not a big chain, so it is has had a big impact on us.”

The vehicle used was parked outside the pub at the time.

If you have any information which could help the police investigation into the theft, call 101 and give the call handler the crime reference number 2019/0202-0947.