THIEVES took a trailer from the back of a car while the driver walked to a nearby garage to buy petrol.

The vehicle's 55-year-old owner, from Swalwell, near Gateshead, had been travelling from Lanchester, along Ford Road towards Cornsay Colliery, County Durham, when his vehicle ran out of petrol shortly before 2.30pm on Wednesday.

PC David Taylor, of Stanley police, said: "The garage was about a 20-minute walk away and when he returned to his vehicle the coupling unit securing the trailer had been unbolted."

The 16ft by 7ft trailer is worth £2,250 and has a double axle. Anyone with information is asked to call (01207) 232144.