Thieves break into Co-op in Catterick Village

Thieves broke into the Co-op in Catterick Village in the early hours of the morning.

Just before 2.30am three men smashed their way into the store using sledgehammers and removed the safe and cigarettes.

It is understood they were disturbed by police during the break in and fled the scene.

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It is not yet known if anything was stolen.

Police chased the thieves and police dogs were brought in, although the helicopter could not be used because it was too windy, shop staff were told.

However, the offenders were not caught.

Police are at the scene this morning. The front window has been smashed and the shop is cordoned off.

The safe from behind the counter and dozens of packets of cigarettes can be seen outside the shop on the floor.

Packets of cigarettes outside the Co-op store.
Police at the scene this morning.

Helen Whitfield, store manager, said she was called at around 2.30am in the morning to say there had been a burglary at the store.

She said police told her they were driving past on patrol and disturbed the thieves, who ran off.

Helen said the safe contained scratchcards but didn’t hold cash.

A local resident who lives near the shop said: “I heard a lot of banging at about 2.30am.

“I looked out of the window and there was a man with something covering his face in the street. He was holding a sledgehammer.

“We were just about to call the police when they turned up.”

Police have issued an appeal following the incident.

A spokesperson said: “A thorough search of the area was carried out following the incident including officers on the ground and the dog unit but the offenders were not traced.

“A sledgehammer, believed to have been used in the offence, has been recovered this morning in a nearby field.”

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the incident or who saw anything suspicious in the area in the days leading up to the offence to contact them with information.

Officers are also keen to speak with anyone who may have seen the men following the incident.

Anyone with information is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 or if you would prefer to provide information anonymously then the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.

Please provide reference 12180183953.