An Asda store has been hit by a spate of trolley thefts leaving the supermarket with a bill of £64,000.

More than 800 shopping trolleys were stolen from a car park at the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Basildon – despite the £1 locks. It is believed the trolleys, which went missing over a 12-day period, are being sold as scrap metal.

“We’ve stepped up security and replacement trolleys are on their way to store,” said a spokeswoman for the supermarket.

“Clearly they haven’t been used for shopping and we’re working closely with the police to discover who the trolley-hogger is.”