A business boss has spoken of a “devastating” break-in which saw thieves escape with a five-figure sum.
The cash was stolen from a safe within Primo Drinks, which has a base in the Sea View Industrial Estate, off Kilburn Drive in Horden.
Earlier that evening, the keys to the building had been taken from inside a car which was parked in Avenue Vivian in Fence Houses.
Now the full impact of the raid has been revealed by the company’s managing director, Gavin Wright, who leads the family-owned wholesale drinks company, which works across the north of England.
Mr Wright said: “When I first got the phone call about the break-in my heart sunk and my emotions were everywhere – this was devastating news to us, as Primo Drinks is a family-run business.
“After the immediate shock, I then began to realise just how devastating the consequences of this would be and the effect it would have on things like cash flow, morale, safety and security and the long-term effects it has on the profitability of the company and potential growth aspirations.
We hope the culprits are caught and brought to justice.Gavin Wright
“Not only have we incurred a substantial loss with the burglary, but we have also had to invest heavily in additional security for the sustainability of the business and the security of the staff.
“This has included investing in dual control time delay devices and 24/7 remote CCTV monitoring.
“We hope the culprits are caught and brought to justice.”
Police would like to speak to the two men pictured in the CCTV images in connection with the incident.
Detective Constable John Forster, from Peterlee CID, said: “A substantial amount of money was taken during this incident, which has damaged the business significantly.
“If anyone recognises the two men pictured I would urge them to contact us as soon as possible, as they may have information which could help our investigation.”
The break in happened on the night of Sunday, December 17.
The Horden unit is one of six run by Primo.
Anyone with any information should contact Durham Constabulary on 101, quoting crime reference number CRI00096627.
Alternatively information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.