We're sure our readers will agree that stealing property from other people is despicable.

It seems like every week we cover court cases or police appeals regarding thefts in the area.

However, there is an even lowlier form of theft, that isn't the theft of a physical object, and that is the theft of someone's livelihood.

Which is why it's so galling to see tradesmen's tools targeted by criminals.

As The Westmorland Gazette reports on page five, an investigation has been launched after tradesmen were targeted during a one-night crime spree.

Several tradesmen reported having had equipment burgled from their garages and from sheds at their Stone Croft homes - a cul-de-sac less than half a mile from Ambleside town centre.

Six high-range mountain bikes were stolen along with expensive power tools and machinery. Hacksaws, hedge cutters and drills were among the items taken.

The six properties understood to have been burgled are within approximately 200 metres of each other.

To steal another's livelihood, to disrupt the way they earn their wage is a much more callous theft than that of an object.

Stealing property can be devastating to the owners, and they make take a financial hit, but to hinder the way someone feeds themselves, and keeps a roof over the heads of their family, is the lowest of the low.

The burglary in question wasn't just a case of an opportune thief stumbling upon a treasure trove - the victims of the burglary say the crime seems premeditated.

Andrew Slade, a tree surgeon who had his tools stolen, said: “I don’t know if someone’s been watching the area for a while now.

"But the burglary seemed like something that had been planned for some time.

“They may have filled up their van and then simply made off, not having enough space to pack in any more stuff."

Cumbria Police has also confirmed it will crack down on quad bike thefts from agricultural workers, which is a very similar crime.

Anyone who has any information about the crime should call 101 or to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting log 199 of February 12 2020.