Ramraiders got away with a haul of antique carpets valued at around £150,000.

Up to six thieves are believed to have carried out the carefully-planned strike at the shop in Burford a few minutes after midnight on Tuesday.

They attached a wooden scaffolding plank as a battering-ram to a stolen car - and loaded up about 50 carpets into two vehicles in a matter of minutes.

Police are now appealing for information on the raid at Richard Purdon's shop in the tourist town's High Street.

Mr Purdon said: "Some of the carpets are very valuable. They are 100 to 150 years old.

"We live over the shop and were getting ready for bed when they struck."

He added: "There were a number of guys in two cars and it was all over in a few minutes."

Most of the stolen carpets were carefully crafted in the Middle East. They included Persian, Turkestani and Turkish items.

Mr Purdon opened the shop in 1992 and has only had one previous theft, when a window was smashed and two carpets stolen.

The stolen car, a red Vauxhall Cavalier, was reversed across a grass verge in front of the premises to break open the shop door. It was abandoned there.

The thieves piled the carpets into another car and made off in two vehicles, going in the direction of the bridge over the River Windrush.

From there they might have taken the turn to either Chipping Norton or Stow- on-the-Wold.

Det Con Dave Lee, of Witney CID, said: "There were several people involved in this, probably between four and six.

"We are seeking witnesses who have seen suspicious activity on Burford High Street before or after midnight.

"We also want to know if any cars, one dark-coloured and the other a light-coloured estate, were spotted leaving town in a hurry at about that time."

Information can be passed to Witney CID on 01993 893830, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.