WOMEN’S clothing worth more than £30,000 was stolen in an early morning Christmas Eve raid.

Just after 4am, burglars broke into the Norma James of Corbridge store on the village’s Main Street and made off with more than 100 items.

David Crompton, a director of the company owned by his wife Noreen, said that a large quantity of Barbour jackets and designer women’s wear was stolen.

He said that the offenders drove a silver Audi A3 the wrong way down a one-way street before forcing open the front door. While the shop alarms rang, the burglars made off with the highly priced goods.

An hour later the same car, displaying registration plates from another vehicle, was used in the burglary of a Co-op store in Whitley Bay.

Mr Crompton said: “An observant county council gritter driver got the registration, but the plates were stolen so the car couldn’t be traced. The most important thing is no-one was hurt, and the worst thing was the disruption over Christmas to get repairs done. From the far end of the store, they took all the Barbour stock and they also took a lot of designer ladies’ wear from the other end so we’re looking at more than 100 items. We can never replace that stock because we have to order so far in advance, and we’ve already placed our orders for the spring and summer.”

Police are asking for people with information to call 101, reference 137 24/12/18.