A landlady who put her heart and soul into relaunching a pub is devastated after thieves ransacked the property – leaving her to call time on the venture for good.
Gemma Shepherd was preparing to relaunch the Locomotion Number One at Heighington Station, on Aycliffe Business Park, when burglars raided the pub and stole about £1,200 worth of stock.
The thieves stole all the alcohol from behind the bar, including bottles of beer and spirits, leaving only the kegs in the cellar and soft drinks behind. They also took crisps and snacks, as well as smashing glasses and raiding cupboards.
The 32-year-old said: “They have completely ransacked the place. I am absolutely gutted – I don’t feel angry, it is more a feeling of devastation.
“I have put all my own money into the pub, but I will have to give it up as I have no more funds to financially support it.”
Ms Shepherd began working at the pub in December, and took over the running of it in May.
“I was planning on doing a soft launch and had held a few family events. I was looking forward to opening properly,” she added.
“It is awful, it makes me feel like I have failed but it was someone else who took it away from me.”
Detective Constable John Forster, from Bishop Auckland CID, said: “This was devastating for Gemma as she had put everything into the pub. Now she has been left with nothing.
“I really want to make a plea to anyone who knows anything at all about this incident to get in touch.”
The incident happened between Wednesday, June 28, and the morning of Friday, June 30.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Durham Police on 101 and ask for Det Con John Forster at Bishop Auckland CID, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.