Detectives in St Helens are hunting thieves whose break-in at a garden centre sparked a search during which a police dog was killed.
The men forced their way into Trebaron Garden Centre on Southworth Road, Newton-le-Willows, at some point between 9.30pm on Monday, November 7 and 4.30am on Tuesday, November 8.
Officers were deployed to the scene in the small hours of the Tuesday morning and a thorough search of the area was started.
During the search, a police dog, a German shephard called Ghost, found its way on to the M6 and was hit and killed by a car.
A police spokesman said: “A number of items were stolen including scented candles, Christmas trees, children’s games and a chain saw.
Officers are particularly keen to trace anyone who was in the area who might have seen a gold and white Mitsubishi 4x4 car.
“CCTV from the store and surrounding areas is being examined and the scene has been forensically examined.
During a search of the area, following deployment to this job, PD Ghost, a German Shepherd, was found on the M6 motorway a short while later.
“He died after suffering traumatic injuries after being hit by a vehicle.
Detectives would urge anyone with any information about this incident, to contact detectives on 0151 777 6885 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.