A BURGLAR carrying an air rifle broke into a Rhos pub and made off with a cash haul of over £2,000, including £800 worth of £1 and £2 coins.

Joint landlord of the Sun Inn in Hall Street, Darren Hannaby, believes the raider may have been seen by a passing taxi driver as he entered the public house via a cellar door in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The taxi was seen on CCTV passing by just before the burglar, whose face was concealed by a hooded coat, entered the premises.

He left his weapon on the pavement to pick up after rifling the till of Saturday night's takings and making off with a black cash tin containing loose change.

Darren said: "We're gutted as we have been struggling for the last two months and then we had a good night on Saturday with a band in and then this goes and happens.

"The CCTV shows the guy going into the cellar at about 2.35am (on Sunday) and just 50 seconds before that a vehicle, I think a taxi, passed him coming down from the mountain road.

"The man had an air rifle on his back as if he had been hunting or rabbiting and he left it outside while he went into the pub. He was in there for only about six minutes."

It is the first time the Sun Inn has been targeted by criminals since Darren took over landlord duties with his pal Terry Williams seven years ago.

"The till and float for the next night are usually secure, but he has gone in through the cellar door," added the landlord. "We were stocking up on change for Christmas and £800 was in £2 and £1 coins, so hopefully it will be noticeable if anyone sees someone spending an unusual amount of coins in the locality.

"The cash tin is approximately 10 inches by 6 inches long so if anyone comes across this too then we'd ask them to get in touch.

"It's a substantial amount of money to us. The pub trade is a difficult one to be in at the moment.

"I'd advise people to lock their doors and windows and keep an eye out on their neighbours, especially the elderly."

North Wales Police are investigating the burglary, which took place around 2.35am on Sunday.

A spokesman said: "We had reports of a break-in at the Sun Inn in Rhos. Our enquiries are ongoing."

If anyone saw anything suspicious ring 101 quoting incident number X176829.