Cemetery attacked as thieves ransack containers of tools and damage new fence

Thieves cut open the side of one of the containers to get in and steal tools.
Thieves cut open the side of one of the containers to get in and steal tools.

A village's parish council has said it has been left "devastated" by a break-in at its workers' base at a cemetery.

Horden Parish Council has appealed for anyone with information about who is responsible for the attack on Thorpe Road Cemetery last night to contact police.

The fencing at Thorpe Road Cemetery was damaged during the break-in.

The fencing at Thorpe Road Cemetery was damaged during the break-in.

The items are valued in excess of £3,000, not including the damage to a £5,000 new container and new boundary and compound palisade fencing.

It comes as the council was nearing the end of a project to improve the site, including better access for vehicles and for those visiting on foot and 1,500 additional burial spaces, after work started last June.

Read more: Cemetery extension worth thousands to start this month

A spokesman said: "We are devastated to report an extensive break-in at Thorpe Road Cemetery last night.

Thorpe Road Cemetery in Horden was attacked overnight.

Thorpe Road Cemetery in Horden was attacked overnight.

"The new boundary and compound fencing has been cut and containers cut into and all our tools and equipment stolen.

"Items included strimmers, blowers, chain saw, hedge trimmers, drills, mostly Stihl branded.

"This comes as a major blow to the council as we are coming to the end of a £500,000 cemetery extension and refurbishment project.

"This should be a time to appreciate the hard work, for what has been a major project for the council and Horden Cemetery.

The attack comes as the council was nearing the end of a programme of improvements.

The attack comes as the council was nearing the end of a programme of improvements.

"We would appreciate any information, this can either reported to us or the police in confidence.

"This is truly devastating after the work and effort we have put into the cemetery extension project."

Item taken are two Stihl strimmers and harness; a Stihl strimmer and harness; two Stihl back mounted blowers; a Dewalt drill pack; a Stihl chainsaw; a socket set and a Stihl hedge trimmer.

Durham Constabulary's non-emergency number can be called via 101 or Crimestoppers can be called on anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The damage caused to the boundary fence at the Thorpe Road Cemetery site in Horden.

The damage caused to the boundary fence at the Thorpe Road Cemetery site in Horden.