POLICE are hunting thieves who stripped the furnishings from a holiday cottage in the Yorkshire Dales after apparently booking the property for a week’s break.

Two flat-screen televisions, a microwave, fridge freezer and surround sound equipment were taken from the house in West Witton, near Leyburn.

The thieves also left with the dining table, conservatory furniture, vacuum cleaner, kettle, bed linen, mattresses, rugs, curtains and cleaning equipment.

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The burglary took place sometime between February 22 and Saturday, March 1 when a family of six were supposed to be staying in the house.

Police suspect the thieves gave false details while booking the £600-a-week cottage.

A neighbour spotted a white van outside the property on Sunday evening and noticed that the conservatory furniture had been moved the following day.

It was noticed on the same day that curtains had been drawn, preventing passers-by from seeing inside.

The burglary was only discovered when the cleaners arrived on Saturday morning to prepare the cottage for the next guests.

The door was locked and there was no sign of a forced entry.

It is understood the cleaning company were contacted by a man claiming he was staying at the property on Tuesday last week.

The man asked when the cleaners were due to visit the cottage.

Details of the call have been passed to police.

Police scenes of crime officers were at the scene yesterday. Door to door enquiries were also planned.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Numerous items of property were stolen from the address on Church Lane, West Witton.

“Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident and are urging anyone with information to come forward.”

Anyone with information should call North Yorkshire Police on 101 – select option two – and ask for PC Andrew Foster or Leyburn police.

Alternatively, information can be emailed to andy.foster@northyorkshire.pnn.police or Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800-555-111.

Please quote reference number 12140033201 when passing information about this incident.