A gas leak in a shop caused by vandals cutting pipes could have had serious consequences had a neighbour not smelt it and reported it, police say.
Offenders smashed a back door of the premises in Shropshire Street in Market Drayton on Wednesday and cut water and gas pipes before fleeing empty handed.
If the leak had not been detected so quickly, the consequences could have been fatal, a spokesman said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact West Mercia Police.
Pc Dave Timmins said: "There are houses, flats and other businesses in the street and had the build-up of gas been accidentally ignited, even through the simple act of turning on a light switch, we could have been facing a serious explosion with potentially fatal consequences.
"Fortunately, someone in a neighbouring property smelt the gas and alerted the gas company, which quickly sent an engineer to repair the damage and stop the leak.
"The break-in happened during daylight or early morning and anyone who might have seen or heard anything suspicious during that time is urged to please contact police."