Detectives have launched an appeal for information in an investigation into two suspected ram raids in Sunderland.
Police were called to Spar on North Hylton Road at about 11.40pm on Thursday after a car had been driven into the shutters of the store, before making off empty-handed.
Officers received another report, shortly before 2.45am on Friday, that a car had been driven into the shutters of a Sainsbury’s store on Station Road, Fulwell. Individuals then gained access to the store and stole a quantity of alcohol, before fleeing the area in the same vehicle.
Police believe a blue car they found burnt out on Ridley Street was used in Sainsbury’s offence.
Detectives have asked anyone with information to come forward and assist with their investigation.
Northumbria Police Detective Inspector Neal Craig said: “These are very serious incidents which have resulted in significant damage to two stores.
“It is especially disappointing that criminals have carried out these offences at a time when there is increased demand on supermarkets and crucial local services.”
“An investigation has been launched into these two incidents, which we are currently treating as linked, and a team of detectives are now carrying out a range of enquiries to identify those responsible.”
He added: “Anyone who is found to have been involved can expect to be dealt with swiftly and robustly – and I would like to reiterate that this type of criminality is totally unacceptable.”
Supermarkets have been facing pressure from increased demand for goods as the Coronavirus crisis continues to spread.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police via the ‘Tell Us Something’ page on their website quoting log 77 270320. Alternatively you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.