A young family has been left homeless after “utterly appalling” burglars ransacked their home on Christmas Eve - before deliberately flooding the house.
The family, which has a two-year-old daughter, had been away visiting relatives over Christmas when their home in Darlington was targeted.
Not only did the thieves ransack the entire house, stealing several personal items as well as a TV, Xbox and PlayStation, but they then blocked the sinks and left taps running, causing the house to flood and ceilings to collapse.
PC Stefan Haynes, from Durham Police, said: “This is an utterly appalling incident which has completely destroyed a young family’s home, leaving them with nowhere to live. Whoever is responsible should be ashamed of themselves.
“I would like to make an appeal to anyone who has been in the area over recent days to think back - have you seen anyone acting suspiciously? Did you hear or see anything unusual?
“If you have any information, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be, please come forward and speak to us. Sometimes even the smallest detail can progress our investigation and help us bring those responsible to justice.”
The incident is believed to have happened on Christmas Eve.
Anyone with information is asked to email PC Haynes at email@example.com, quoting incident number 244 of December 28. Alternatively, information can be passed on to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.