THOUSANDS of pounds worth of sentimental items have been stolen from an elderly couple after thieves threw a brick through a window to gain entry to their home.

A bungalow in the Grange Road area of Darlington was targeted by an unknown number of burglars between 9am and 10am on Friday, March 7, after the owners had popped out for an hour.

A collection of silver items, including cigarette cases, snuff boxes and pens, worth about £5,000 were stolen from a display cabinet in the front room of the property.

The couple are said to have been left traumatised by the loss of sentimental items.

A large brick was thrown through a bedroom window before the intruders entered the property and searched every room.

Police are looking to speak to a man driving a large white van with ladders on the roof who was seen in the area around the time of the burglary – it is not clear if he was involved in the incident.

PC John Tyers, of the Darlington serious crime team at Durham Police, said: “I am appealing for any information regarding this incident. Did anyone witness or hear anything suspicious around that time?

“I also appeal for the van driver to come forward so we can rule him in or out.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact PC Tyers through the non-emergency 101 number or email