A FAMILY was shocked to discover their garage had been broken into – and turned into a bunkhouse for thieves.

Steve Wood said he was startled to discover that someone had got into his garage, but instead of stealing items, the place was filled with hundreds of pounds of power tools that the family had never seen before.

The garage had also been used as living accommodation.

It had bedding, a camping stove, cutlery and crockery, pans and a stack of full egg cartons.

The building is relatively remote, 150 yards away from the former Hyndburn dog warden’s home in Norden View, Rishton.

The garage is used by the Woods family as a den for their grandsons so the intruder was able to make himself at home on sofas kept in the garage.

Mr Woods, who set up the charity Hyndburn Stray Dog in Need, said that he was astonished at the find.

He said: “I am probably the only person I have ever heard of to get their shed broken into – and yet have stuff put in instead of taken out.

“I called the police straight away and they were able to come and get the items.

“I hope they find their way back to the rightful owners. Whoever was staying here must have been desperate because it isn’t very warm or comfortable.

“When I discovered the items in the shed, I had a walk around. I saw a man trying to get his wheelbarrow out of the canal and he said he’d been burgled that night. Luckily I had his generator”.

Items found in the shed also included a rotivator, strimmers, an industrial drill, circular saw and steamer.

Officers are asking people to come forward and contact them if they believe they are the rightful owners of the items.

Sgt Stuart Banks, of Accrington Police, said: “There have been a number of break-ins at allotments around the Rishton area and we believe that there is a possibility that some of these items may have come from those incidents.

“If anyone thinks that they recognise any of the items then I would ask them to contact Accrington police station by calling 01254 353749.”