An eight-year-old boy has been left heartbroken after thieves stole his quad bike which he bought with his own savings.
Callous criminals left hammers and axes on the drive and prised open a shed with a pitchfork at Harry Arkle’s home, near Thropton.
They stole his orange and black quad, as well as mum Katie’s three-week-old Ifor Williams 510 horsebox, another quad and tools, despite some of the items being chained to the ground.
The thefts took place sometime between 10.30am and 2.45pm last Thursday.
Katie, 32, who is married to builder Paul, said: “These people are absolute cowards.
“ They knew we had children as they would have seen the toys in the garden. How can they do that to children? It has devastated us.
“Harry saved up £500 from birthdays and Christmas for years to pay for his quad bike.
“He is so upset that it was taken, but we have also had to tell him that we can’t replace it as we don’t want to risk them coming back. It’s just horrible for him.”
And Katie, also mum to five-year-old Eli and who runs a smallholding at the property, is even more concerned as she returned to the house not long after the intruders had left.
“I had only been out a few hours and what is even more worrying is that when I came back with two little boys there were axes and hammers all over the drive,” she said.
“If I hadn’t stopped for some shopping on the way back, we could have been faced with them.”
“I have changed my car, just got my trainer’s licence and had the horse box changed to take a big horse so I could enter him into his first competition. But I have had to pull out of all of that now. These cowards don’t understand the knock-on effect.”
It is thought that some of the items were spotted on the back of vehicles in the area, soon after the theft .
Katie added: “We have had a sighting of a black 4x4 with what we think was my horsebox on the back.
“People need to be aware of vehicles that might be going about the place and looking suspicious.
“We need them to tell police and report anything.”
She is determined to help stop other families being victim to burglaries and is pushing for CCTV cameras to be installed in the area to help trace car licence plates.
“This is happening far too often now and we want to stop it before more people are hurt like we have been,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: “Police are appealing for witnesses who were in the area or have seen or heard anything to get in touch.
“Officers are also urging anyone who recognises the stolen items or who is offered them for sale to contact them on 101 ext 69191 quoting reference 707/17/04/14, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”