THIEVES made off with thousands of pounds worth of machinery and clothing after hot-wiring a Land Rover and ramming it into locked gates at the Cotswold Agricultural Centre.

More than £8,500 worth of state-of-the-art garden machinery and specialist clothnig was taken from the Countrywide during the ram raid, which happened at some point between 7pm on Monday, February 18 and 7.30am on Tuesday, February 18.

The offenders stole the Land Rover from Baunton Lane in Cirencester before driving it six miles to the Driffield industrial estate.

They cut the lock on the store's access gate and reverse the vehicle into the metal shutters which caused them to buckle open.

It is estimated that nearly £4,000 worth of damage to the building was caused during the raid.

Bob Clarke, manager of the Countrywide store, said he was "gutted" to discover that a break-in had taken place.

"Unfortunately it is just the way of the world at the moment, all we can do is just get on with things now," he said.

"The place was in a total mess, everything had been pulled off of the shelves. They had obviously planned the whole thing out, they knew what they were doing."

Anyone with information about the thefts should call 101, quoting incident number 57 of February 18.