Four young men, aged 19, 22, 23, and 23, were arrested on suspicion of burglary. They are currently in police custody.

Landlady Debbie Honychurch told the Herald: “I got woken up by 4am this morning and looked out of the window to see a man rolling a balaclava over his face, at which point you think ‘this isn’t so good’, so I phoned the police straight away.

“I could see them carrying the contents of my office out, they had the tills, they had the change safe, and they took out our main heavy safe. I saw them trying to put it into their car.

“They couldn’t fit it in their car, that’s the funny thing, they had a BMW with a normal boot, and they spent a couple of minutes trying to jam it in there.

“Then they drove off towards Wixford, the boot was still open.”

Debbie, who’s worked at The Golden Cross on Wixford Road for eight years and has been the owner for the last three, lives above the pub.

“I was quite lucky they didn’t look into my room,” she said.

This morning police forensic investigators were at the pub until lunchtime, but it remained open throughout.

“I’m sure lots of people will be in tonight to gossip,” said Debbie, who has never experienced something like this before.

Inside The Golden Cross.

Inside The Golden Cross.

“I don’t think it’s hit me at the moment, maybe it will tonight when I hear bumps in the night!”

The air rifles and a quantity of money was found in the stolen car, but the safe, which was ripped out of the ground at the pub, has not yet been found.

It is described as muddy green in colour and roughly 2x2x3ft.

Police want anyone who has seen a safe matching this description in the Bidford, Studley or Redditch areas, or has any information about the burglary, to contact them on the non-emergency 101 number.