'DIRTY' burglars have left their mark in three bizarre raids in north-west Durham.

Thieves twice broke into the Scout hut in Stanley and ransacked it. In the first incident, the raiders urinated in the kitchen and in the second, human faeces were left at the scene.

In another raid, thieves stole poultry from a farm shed and left human faeces on the floor.

Thieves targeted the Scout hut in Church Bank, belonging to Third West Stanley St Andrews Scouts, twice in a matter of days.

Ian Brown, Scoutmaster, said: "It was terrible. They threw all the papers out of the filing cabinet and urinated in the kettle.

"We believe it was the same people that broke in both times because they caused the same damage.

"It is not fair on the kids. We are trying to get the building up and running for them and it is annoying that they are losing out."

The first raid took place overnight on Friday, May 23.

The burglars broke in through a fire door and took property which was later discarded in the surrounding streets.

The same gang is thought to be behind an identical break-in the following Monday, when the crooks also left human faeces at the scene.

"We are looking at extra security measures and will have to get an alarm fitted to keep them out," said Mr Brown.

While the building is repaired, the Cub Scouts will continue to meet in St Andrew's Church Institute on Mondays, from 6.30pm to 8.10pm.

The Scouts will use the institute on Tuesdays, between 6.30pm and 8.40pm.

Overnight on Sunday, May 25, crooks forced their way into a shed on a farm outside Lanchester, near Consett.

They stole 18 ducks, eight hens, a large bird cage and several horse collars, before defecating on the floor.

Anyone with information about any of the break-ins is asked to contact Consett police on (01207) 504204.