Thieves pinch fuel in village crime spree

News from Northumbria Police
News from Northumbria Police

A county councillor is calling on police to tackle ‘the problem’ of rural burglaries, after thieves targeted a string of businesses over the weekend.

Rothbury was at the centre of a crime spree on Saturday and Sunday, as criminals stole of large quantity of diesel.

The village’s industrial estate was badly hit, after thieves forced entry to premises.

Police say that between noon on Saturday and 10am on Sunday, offenders stole 750 litres of diesel from a static tank at Newtown Engineering.

A burglary was also reported at David Sutton Builders. It happened overnight on Saturday and thieves stole two Honda electric cement mixers.

A&E Tyre, Exhaust & Service Centre Limited reported thefts around its garage, with fuel, tools and personal belongings taken from vehicles.

Elsewhere in the village, several vehicles parked in David Appleby Builder’s Yard, in Station Road, had fuel stolen. Offenders forced entry to the yard by damaging a fence.

There was also an attempted fuel theft at Morrell Hirst Farm on Sunday morning.

County councillor for Rothbury, Steven Bridgett, said he was aware of other businesses and properties being targeted over the weekend.

He added: “Having spoken to some of the business owners – many having been burgled in the past – they are looking for more support from Northumbria Police in tackling this problem and catching those involved. I will write to Police Commissioner Vera Baird, plus the Chief Constable and the Chief Superintendent for the area, in the hope we can receive local intelligence/feedback to the community and try to get an understanding of how they intend to tackle this problem.

Superintendent Andy Huddleston, from Northumbria Police, said: “We work closely with the farming communities and we listen to their concerns regarding rural crime. We encourage people to report suspicious activity or vehicles to us so we can respond appropriately. We have a successful Farmwatch scheme and we participate in Operation Checkpoint which deals with criminals using the road network. Tackling rural crime is important to us. For advice and support, call 101.”