WOULD-be thieves caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a former secret wartime air base when they tried to steal its safe this week.

More than £10,000 of damage was done to the main entrance buildings of Croome Court during the attempted burglary, which has been described by staff as "heart wrenching".

The incident happened between five past and 20 past midnight on Wednesday at the National Trust property near High Green, Worcester.

Police believe the offenders drove a four by four, or similar vehicle into the former secret wartime air base via a field gate on a road between High Green and Croome D'Abitot.

They have then driven to the main entrance of the National Trust property, where thousands of people worked and lived in the 1940s, and used a metal cable to wrench open the entrance and inner door to the premises.

The suspects reportedly found a large safe and have used a large metal cable which is secured around the safe attached to the vehicle to try and steal the contents.

Despite failing in their attempt to steal the safe the criminals caused significant damage to the structural brickwork of the kitchen and entrance area.

They also lifted two gates off their hinges so they could approach the shop in a vehicle.

Amy Forster, house and visitor services manager, said: "Fortunately nothing was actually taken. They did cause quite a lot of damage to the building work, we think over £10,000. This was because of the way they tried to remove the safe. It's quite significant damage but it's nothing we can't fix. We will do that as soon as possible.

"Our own security were on site within five minutes of the alarm sounding so the offenders were in and out very quickly. I think they knew they only had a limited amount of time.

"It's a poor show really. It's not a very nice thing to happen to any business but particularly as we are a charity, it's heart wrenching."

Anyone with information on this incident should contact the police on 101 and quote reference number 0006S 250614.