Popular Darlington restaurant Babul's was broken into during the early hours of the morning and ransacked.

The restaurant staff believe that the break in happened around 1.30am after the cleaning staff left for the night.

The intruders broke all of the locked doors in an effort to find valuables.

They even searched the cellar and office spaces, turning them over and causing lots of damage to the property.

Staff believe that expensive bottles of liquor, poppadoms and tablets used by waiters to serve guests have been stolen.

Durham Police are carrying out an investigation and looking through the restaurant's CCTV.

Zak Ahmed, a representative of Babul's, said: "It happened in the early hours of the morning.

"Somebody has broken through the back door. They came in and they kicked through all of our locked doors.

"They turned the place upside down. They must have been looking for things of high value.

"They were thorough, they even looked in our cellar and office. They took the cash in the till, some of our expensive liquor and all our poppadoms. 

"Someone completely thoughtless has decided to do this. It will cost thousands to repair the damage they have done.

"I'm angry and a bit hurt. We were broken into years ago in Barnard Castle and it is bringing back those memories.

"The police are looking through our camera footage. If anyone saw anything suspicious last night please get in touch with the police."

Durham Police have been contacted for comment.