SEVEN German students are having to cut their trip to Darlington short after thieves stole all their money.

The students, from Bremen in north Germany, arrived last week to gain experience of working with various organisations in Darlington.

But on Monday night, thieves broke into their dormitory in the town's Arts Centre and stole £1,000 in cash. The money, which was being looked after by the students' teacher, was supposed to pay for their accommodation, food and social events.

The students are now having to return to Germany today, rather than Wednesday.

Anna Kunkel, 18, who was on a placement at The Northern Echo, said: "We have had a very nice time in Darlington, which is a lovely town, but this has spoiled things for us.

"We are feeling quite insecure because of the fact someone went into our rooms and stole our money when we were out."

Detective Constable Peter Eddy, of Darlington CID, confirmed police are investigating the theft.

"Three bedrooms occupied by foreign exchange students were searched and personal property was stolen," he said.

"We have taken fingerprints at the scene, but would also appeal for any witnesses to come forward."

Anyone with information should contact police on (01325) 467681