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Boys ‘risking their life’ after theft of rooftop camera

PUBLISHED: 16:19 25 July 2020

Two young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona Daniel

Two young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona Daniel

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Two young boys are “risking their lives” after climbing onto the roof of a town centre building to steal a CCTV camera, a new business owner has warned.

Mark Jones, owner of Funny Farm soft play and barn cafe, has transformed the former Poundstretcher premises on London Road North in Lowestoft. He is pictured with staff member Vicki Joel. Picture: Mick HowesMark Jones, owner of Funny Farm soft play and barn cafe, has transformed the former Poundstretcher premises on London Road North in Lowestoft. He is pictured with staff member Vicki Joel. Picture: Mick Howes

Fiona Daniel, along with her partner Mark Jones, warned people are risking their lives by climbing on the roof of their new business in Lowestoft town centre.

The co-owners of children’s soft play centre Funny Farm, on London Road North, opened the doors to their cafe earlier this month after an extensive renovation project to transform the building, which had been empty for a number of years.

But their positive start suffered an early blow on Wednesday evening after the theft.

Ms Daniel said: “We were quite upset when we came in that morning. We hadn’t noticed it at first until our neighbour came in and handed us what was left of the casing and told us the camera was gone.

Two young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona DanielTwo young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona Daniel

“I went up and had a look and there was quite a big drop so I wondered what had happened.

“We looked at the footage and say two lads on the roof, only about 20 minutes after we left the night before, and they ripped the camera off and took it with them.

“We can check the cameras remotely from our phone and we do, but we can’t be watching them constantly.”

The two-storey building, at the junction with Milton Road East, has been empty for much of the last four years since Poundstretcher relocated.

Two young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona DanielTwo young boys were caught on CCTV at the new soft play centre in Lowestoft, breaking and stealing a CCTV camera overnight. Picture: Fiona Daniel

Ms Daniel said: “It is very dangerous up there. If anyone was to fall down to the basement they wouldn’t get back out, if they were to survive the fall.

“If anything gets damaged it is the children of the town and their parents who will suffer.

“It needs to stop.”

According to the footage, the boys were on the roof at 6.57pm on Wednesday night.

Ms Daniel said: “We have been open just over a week and we spent a lot of money on the CCTV system to protect the building and our customers, so we are quite upset we have to replace it already.

“We have been working for months to make it as safe as possible for everyone here.

“This has cost us all of our money we had set aside, and CCTV was one thing that cost a lot more than we thought it would. To have one ripped down straight away is really upsetting.

Suffolk Police have urged any witnesses to contact officers on 101, quoting crime reference 228 of July 23.


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