WORKERS at a garden centre have been left 'shocked' following an overnight burglary which saw around £10,000 worth of designer goods stolen.

Sam Turner and Sons on Station Road, Piercebridge, was targeted by thieves last Wednesday after they broke into the clothing warehouse with what staff believe was a metal bar to gain entry through the roof.

The Northern Echo: The damage to the roof which has since been repaired The damage to the roof which has since been repaired

The police were called on Thursday morning after worker, Richard Coatsworth, came in at 8am to find empty boxes of Hunter wellies and other designer stock.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Coatsworth has been working at the site for seven years and said he has never witnessed anything like it.

He said: “I was shocked when I came in on the morning to find all the empty boxes. We think about 60 or 70 boxes of wellies were taken which has obviously set us back as the pairs can cost up to £200 at retail price.

“We want anyone who saw anything suspicious to talk to police as a lot of people use the A67 road and may have seen something.

“We also would like people to come forward if they have seen anyone selling designer wellies on the cheap as they may be linked.   

“Since the incident security has doubled at the site and a new system has been put in place.”

Workers at the garden centre believe suspects accessed the building through a farmers field and said 4x4 tracks were found in the surrounding area.

The roof has since been repaired and the business is running as normal.

Following the theft police are investigating the incident.

A spokesperson from Durham Police said: “A burglary occurred at Sam Turner and Sons on Station Road, Piercebridge sometime overnight between January 15 and January 16.

“It is believed access was gained through the roof and once inside suspect(s) stole a large amount of clothing before making off on foot.

“Anyone with information in relation to the incident is asked to call Darlington CID on 101 quoting reference number 71 of January 16.”