Ram raid on Flannels in Sunderland as thieves smash their way in through shutters with car stealing designer clothes

Ram raiders used a car to repeatedly crash into the shutters of a Sunderland store before running off with a haul of items.

Thursday, 11th July 2019, 6:35 pm

Northumbria Police have confirmed officers have launched an investigation following the “suspected ram raid” at the Flannels store in Sunderland city centre.

The business, owned by Newcastle United and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley, opened in the former Primark shop in 2016 and sells high-end brands including Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Moschino.

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Police on the scene of the suspected ram raid of Flannels in Fawcett Street.

A spokesman for the force said: “Shortly before 3am today, Thursday, July 11, police were called to the Flannels store on Fawcett Street after reports that a vehicle had been ramming down the shutters.

“After gaining access to the store, individuals stole a number of items before making off in two vehicles.

“One of the vehicles, a silver Toyota Avensis, was later found by officers abandoned in the Walker area of Newcastle. A second vehicle, a black Peugeot 306, which is believed to have also been involved, remains outstanding.

“Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible, and detectives have now appealed to the public for information – especially witnesses who may have mobile phone or dashcam footage that can assist with the investigation.”

The aftermath of the break-in at Flannels in Sunderland city centre.

Flannels staff could be seen cleaning up the mess left by the raiders earlier on today.

One witness who lives nearby told the Echo: “My and my girlfriend were in bed and we heard tyres screeching and then heard a massive crash. I went to have a look at what what was happening and could see there’d been a crash and we saw it was someone trying to break in.

“We started ringing the police and we saw another car coming up, there were lots of people around.

“They went inside and then they fled, there was about three or four guys. Then they drove off. They must have crashed into the shutters about three or four times. It was insane.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 86 110719 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.