This is the shocking damage from a ram raid at a popular South Shields cafe

An investigation is under way following a suspected ram raid which caused extensive damage to a popular South Shields cafe.

A white Transit van has driven into the front of the Mac 'n' Alli cafe, in Westoe Crown Village, late on Friday night causing 'extensive damage'.

The damage caused to the cafe. Picture by Northumbria Police

The damage caused to the cafe. Picture by Northumbria Police

Several male occupants then fled the scene in a second car and it does not appear anything was taken from the cafe.

Police pictures show the shocking damage caused to the front of the cafe.

An investigation is ongoing and police are asking any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "Shortly before 11.15pm on Friday (March 22), police received a report of criminal damage at the Mac 'n' Alli shop in Westoe Crown Village, South Shields.

Mac 'n' Alli is currently boarded up following a suspected ram raid

Mac 'n' Alli is currently boarded up following a suspected ram raid

"A white Transit van is believed to have driven into the front of the store, causing extensive damage.

"Several male occupants of the van then left the scene in a silver-coloured VW Passat.

"Nobody was injured and it does not appear that anything was taken from the shop."

The cafe is currently boarded up and the owners expect the cafe will be shut for a number of weeks.

Mac 'n' Alli remains shut

Mac 'n' Alli remains shut

The cafe posted on social media on Saturday morning: "Dear Customers, due to unforeseen events we will be closed for the time being. We hope to reopen in the next couple of weeks and will keep our customers updated. Thank you for all of your support at this time.

In the comments, it then added: "We would just like to thank everyone's support and lovely words on this matter, we really appreciate the community getting behind us.

"Any pre-paid afternoon teas for Mothers Day will be refunded."

An investigation is ongoing to locate those responsible and police are now eager for anyone who witnessed the incident, or anything suspicious in the area at the time, to get in touch.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 1364 220319 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.