A foodbank has been left disappointed after thoughtless thieves stole materials from a building site.

The Woodhouse Close Church and Community Centre in Bishop Auckland, County Durham became the target of mindless thieves who stole materials for an extension to its foodbank.

The foodbank opened 10 years ago but has seen a surge in demand in recent years with produce now overflowing into the building’s rooms and corridors.

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Volunteers raised £150,000 to fund an extension to house the foodbank, with building work getting underway last month. But just a week into the build, a break-in on Saturday, September 26, saw insulation panels stolen overnight.

Peter Hall, 75, a warden at the church, said: “It just makes you wonder what on earth is the world coming to.

“We started off very small and over the last three to four years demand has gone up with the cost of living crisis.

“We decided that an extension would be needed so we started to raise money.

The Northern Echo: The building site.The building site. (Image: PETER HALL)

“The work started a couple of weeks ago then somebody came along and stole 12 sheets of insulation.

“We’ve been helping the community for over 10 years and then for somebody to come and take material from the site it just makes you wonder what on earth this country is coming to.”

Durham Police are now investigating the break-in and are appealing to any witnesses to come forward and assist their enquiries.

It happened between 11.30pm on Tuesday, September 26 and 12.30am on Wednesday, September 27.

A force spokesperson said: “Police are investigating a break-in in which several sheets of insulation were stolen from a building site at Woodhouse Close Church, in Bishop Auckland.

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“The sheets were stolen between 11.30pm on Saturday, September 16 and 12.30am on Wednesday, September 27. 

“Officers are carrying out enquiries into the incident, including speaking to witnesses and reviewing CCTV footage of the area.

“Anyone with any information that could assist their investigation is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 59 of September 27.

“Alternatively, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.