BURGLARS are using spades to gain access to commercial property and then leaving them at the scene, police say.

DC Joanne Days, of Chester-le-Street CID said: “We are noticing that the burglaries have been occurring very early in the morning, on the Front Street and surrounding areas at around 6am when members of the public are potentially going to work.

“The suspects are known to use spades to gain access which are often left at the scene. We are urging all residents to report anything that they may consider suspicious.”

Anyone with information should contact Durham Police on 101.