TWO men were scared off by a company director after they broke into a complex of flats and tried to raid residents’ mail boxes.

Sam Monaghan heard the men in the communal area of Oriel House in North Hill, Colchester.

He looked through the peep-hole from his flat to see two men rummaging through residents’ letters.

Sam, 34, said: “It was on Thursday night at about 11pm.

“I heard a lot of commotion in the hallway so I looked through my peep-hole and saw two guys in their mid twenties forcing open the letter boxes.

“They were looking through the post and had managed to get into the building somehow.”

They had not been there long before Sam managed to scare them off.

He said: “I made a bit of noise and it startled them and they ran off.

“I called the police and gave them a description of the men, I don’t think they took anything.”

He described one of the men as being 6ft, wearing a blue Adidas tracksuit and blue baseball cap.

The other man was about 5ft 7ins and had brown hair.

It is not known how they gained access to the flats as guests have to be buzzed in by residents through an intercom system.

Sam said: “They could have followed someone else in or they forced their way in, but there is no damage to the door.

“It is good to make people aware as there could be someone looking through people’s mail.

“I don’t know what they were looking for, it could have been cards or bank statements.”

Braintree and Witham Times:

  • Sam Monaghan

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We were called at around 10.55pm on Thursday with reports of men acting suspiciously in North Hill, Colchester.

“We received information men were looking through letterboxes at properties within a block of flats.

“They then left empty handed and we have not received any reported crimes.”

The building used to be the home of the Essex County Standard and Gazette before the papers moved to Brunel Court on Severalls Industrial Estate and the North Hill building was turned into flats in 2015.

Anyone with information should call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.