SUBSTANTIAL damage was caused by a gang of thieves after a break-in led to a late night police chase in the countryside.

North Dorset Police said thieves entered a grounds building in Sturminster Newton late on Monday night.

Officers pursued them as they fled the site, which eventually led to the thieves driving off-road in a bid to escape.

In the process, their vehicle caused major damage to fences and a gate in the Tarrant Keyneston area.

Police said yesterday morning that most of the stolen property had been found in the fields, and enquiries into the incident were still ongoing.