POLICE are hoping for the public's help tracking down thieves who stole six tons of wood, worth thousands of pounds, from the side of the road in North Yorkshire.

A lorry driver delivering a load of rare copper beech to a business premises in Catterick could not get his vehicle on to the site so left the load next to a road on the Gatherley Industrial Estate at nearby Brompton-on-Swale.

However, thieves got there before it could be collected, stealing the entire consignment worth an estimated £3,000.

Detectives are confident they must have used a lorry and may have made more than one trip to load up the wood, which was destined for furniture manufacturers in the Richmond area.

A reward is being offered to anyone who can help trace the culprits who may have taken hours to load the 9ft copper beech planks sometime between last Friday night and Saturday morning.

Witnesses can contact Richmond CID on (01748) 823055 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.