CCTV captures thieves during night-time raid

This CCTV footage has captured thieves as they went on a crime spree in Wooler.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 8:00 am
CCTV of the thieves at Mike Hope of Wooler.
CCTV of the thieves at Mike Hope of Wooler.

The shocking incident happened overnight on Monday, as the culprits raided Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd – making off with around £50,000 worth of gear – before smashing the nearby Farm to Freeze building in an attempt to drive off with the cash machine.

The incident has shocked the tight-knit community of Wooler and police are appealing for information.

The three thieves actually broke into Mike Hope of Wooler, on South Road, twice during the night – the first time while director Jamie Hope and his wife were watching television 40 feet away, then returned at 3.30am.

It follows a break-in at the site a few months ago, when thieves stole cash and cigarettes to the value of around £8,000.

A statement left by Jamie on the company’s Facebook page read: ‘At approximately 10pm on Monday, three Honda ATVs (quad bikes) were stolen.

‘The ATVs were pushed away through a gate that had been removed from its hinges using tools stolen from our spray shop. The ATVs were then ridden through the river, past the Iron Bridge to make a get-away via the Chatton road.

‘At 3.30am, the thieves returned, after breaking into two other local workshops.

‘Upon their return, they looked through our workshop for the keys to my Toyota Hilux pickup. My keys were not available, but the keys to a similar Hilux were stolen from our office. The thieves then stole straps from our recovery truck which were later used to try to steal a cash machine from another local business.’

Following the theft, the company has managed to recover one of the quad bikes, which was left abandoned a mile east of Wooler. The other two ATVs are missing.

The company has also managed to find the pickup, which has minimal damage, having only suffered a small burn in the seat and a scratch on the tailgate. It has been recovered by the police and is undergoing forensic investigations.

Judith Redpath, from Farm to Freeze – also on South Road – said the thieves left a trail of devastation as they tried to snatch the cash machine from the shop.

She said: “They used a stolen vehicle to reverse into the front door and smashed it all in.

“They had a rope around the cash machine and tried to pull it out. But the cash machine, which is emptied at night, is bolted to the floor and the rope snapped.”

At 6.18am on Tuesday, police also received a report that attempts had been made to steal a safe from Wooler auction mart, on Berwick Road, but the offenders fled empty-handed.

Any witnesses, call 121 or 139 of 9/10/18.