POLICE have hit out at local media after facing criticism for failing to attend a High Street shop raid.

It comes after the Ruxtons town centre farm shop was hit twice in two days by thieves who made off with goods thought to be worth hundreds of pounds.

While the first incident saw the culprits slip in and out with the goods, owners Gabriel and Fraser Purdy managed to detain the two thieves when they returned to try their luck the following day.

After trapping the thieves in the store and demanding payment for the stolen goods, the brothers called the police - who rather than arriving in minutes - took a number of days before arriving on the scene.

Wellington’s neighbourhood police sergeant publicly expressed regret over the fact his team were not on duty at the time. In a statement to the town council he said it was “unfortunate” - and reassured councillors that the case was being looked at by “desktop investigators.”

But after backlash on social media over the ‘no-show’, police turned their ire on the media, saying that the incident was not reported until after the suspects had left the scene.

But the Ruxtons owners insist they called officers with the suspects detained in the shop, and have shown the Wellington Weekly CCTV footage and phone records which back up the claim.

However police took to social media to give their version of events, issuing a statement which said: “This was not reported to the Police until after the offenders had left the scene so no longer ‘in progress’ (a detail omitted by the report in the local press) and therefore did not require an emergency response. The matter is being progressed and suspects have been identified.”

Police have been contacted for comment but did not respond before publication.