Cheeky thieves used a bulldozer to remove four massive ornamental boulders from a children’s play area yesterday morning.
Council bosses are appealing for anyone with information about the theft from Coronation Drive in Seaton Carew to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.
A council spokesman said: “It was brought to our attention that a JC was removing these boulders from the play area.
“When we carried out enquries, it was clear it was not the council removing them.
Replacing the boulders would cost hundreds of pounds: “They would have to be located, purchased and moved – all that costs money.
“It is difficult enough for the council as it is to preserve facilities and services in the face of budget cuts.
“We have to do everything we can to protect what we have.”