MASKED men escaped with thousands of pounds of cash, and caused around £5,000 worth of damage in a matter of minutes, after raiding a Stourport amusement arcade in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A spokesman for the arcade said staff were "devastated" by the attack and, although it was too early to say exactly how much had been stolen, it would be in the thousands.

The cost of repairing the damage was also expected to run into four figures, he added, and, although the site was insured, it was unknown how much the insurance company would cover until loss adjusters had visited.

"We've had it happen in the past and even though you think you're insured you're not always, so it's a very grey area," added the company director, who did not wish to be named.

He said the culprits were "clearly very proficient at it and knew exactly what they were doing".

He went on: "We're devastated - you put a lot of hard work in and people who don't want to work come and take what isn't theirs.

"It's very, very upsetting."

He said 15 machines were damaged in the incident and would be repaired as soon as police had finished working on the site, in Bridge Street.

He hoped they would be working by the end of yesterday and fully repaired by today.

West Mercia Constabulary spokeswoman, Lynne Masters, said a dark car, possibly a new Volkswagen Golf, had pulled up outside the arcade at around 2.15am and two males in balaclavas jumped out.

She added the men used a hammer to attack the gaming machines and stole a substantial amount of cash in coins.

They drove off over the river bridge towards Worcester.

Witnesses or anyone with information on the incident are being asked to call Kidderminster police on 08457 444888.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111.