THIS is the moment thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of beer kegs from a popular brewery.

Arundel Brewery lost a third of its kegs in the raid that happened around 2.30am on Thursday.

A total of 43 empty kegs, which are said to be worth £50 each, were taken from the distillery, costing the company £2,150.

It comes just days before punters are due visit The Brewhouse Project, Arundel, when restrictions ease on April 12.

Owner Stuart Walker said the timing is "frustrating".

He told The Argus: "It is frustrating because we have just reopened after shutdown and we need to refill those kegs ready for pubs and customers that are reopening.

"Our immediate thought when we found out was, how are we going to get our beer to customers if we haven't got the kegs?

"It is probably about a third of the kegs we have. They will probably use them for beer. I'd imagine they will turn up somewhere - I don't know where.

"They are worth £50 each to buy."

The award-wining brewery has been operational since 1992 and is run by a family of beer craft fanatics.

The Argus: The van that was caught on CCTVThe van that was caught on CCTV

Five of their beers - Uptown, Dragonfly, Maple Stout, Blueberry Imperial and Battle of the Oats - are number one in their categories in the South of England on the beer review site Untappd.

Stills taken from CCTV at site show a white van entering the "secure compound" on Thursday morning.

Mr Walker believes a company, advertised on the side of the vehicle had previously sold the vehicle, and that it was now on false plates.

Sussex Police said a white van was reported to have been seen behaving suspiciously in the area.

Mr Walker added: "This isn't a one-off. They are doing it on a consistent basis.

"Our site is a secure site but they were in and out pretty quickly. It probably took under 10 minutes."

The brewery is continuing preparations for the easing of restrictions as normal but hopes that sharing the images will stop the thieves from targetting other people.

On Monday, pubs and other hospitality venues will be able to open their doors for the first time since January as the next phase of the roadmap to recovery begins.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "Police received a report of theft of a large number of kegs of beer from the Arundel Brewery.

"Anyone with information or footage that may assist with enquiries is asked to report online or call 101, quoting 273 of 01/04."