An arsenal of weapons was among the haul for burglars who broke into a small village business through its roof.
Elaine Wilkinson turned up to her Coast Road Fishing Tackle shop in Horden to find thieves had broken in during the night and taken a number of air weapons and a crossbow, along with a number of bags and the float from the till.
I phoned around everybody when I couldn’t get in the shop and got them to come down, then I looked through the window and that’s when I realised they had been in.Shop owner Elaine Wilkinson
While she says the air rifles and cross bow are not powerful, they could cause harm if used wrongly.
She has been left counting the cost and has joined the police in appealing for help to track down the burglars.
Elaine, who has run the business for 18 years, thought a friend with a key was in the shop when she arrived to open up on Tuesday and called in help from friends and family after the burglars damaged the shutters when they tried to get in that way first.
She said: “I phoned around everybody when I couldn’t get in the shop and got them to come down, then I looked through the window and that’s when I realised they had been in.
“I was in shock.
“The air weapons are not powerful, but they’re still weapons.
“They are under the legal limit and they’re not powerful, neither is the crossbow, but they are still weapons at the end of the day.
“I’m going to have to claim it on my insurance, because just the till and the door will cost £1,000.”
Items stolen include a camouflage rucksack, retail price £69.99, four gun bags worth £15 each and several air weapons worth between £70 and £170 each and a crossbow, worth £40.
The break in at the Sunderland Road shop happened sometime on Monday night or early hours Tuesday.
Anyone with information is asked to contact CID at Peterlee via 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.