Stolen seaside train still missing - eight months after theft
- Credit: Archant
A Thomas the Tank Engine-style seaside train has not been found since it was stolen last summer.
Used by local families as well as holidaymakers, the popular attraction spends the summer months running up and down the South Beach seafront promenade in Lowestoft.
The train initially came to the town as part of an economic regeneration plan coinciding with the completion of a £3.5m coastal protection scheme in 2016.
Thousands of passengers have since been ferried to and from opposite ends of the beach, with the option of hopping on at Royal Plain, Claremont Pier and Kensington Gardens.
But overnight from July 17 into July 18 last year, the land train went missing from its storage facility - a shipping container situated off Kirkley Cliff Road between Kensington Gardens and St Mary's Catholic Primary School.
Its owner, who wished to remain anonymous at the time, said he was 'devastated' at not being able to put a smile on the face of children who look forward to travelling on the train.
He added that anyone looking to steal the locomotive, which has two carriages and an orange canopy, would have needed a '25-tonne truck with a big crane to hoist the train onto the back'.
Police issued an appeal for witnesses to come forward and a 41-year-old man from Lowestoft was later arrested on suspicion of burglary. He was subsequently released under investigation, pending further enquiries.
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But eight months on, Suffolk Constabulary say no additional action was taken due to a lack of evidence, adding that the train is yet to be found.
A police spokesman said: 'A full investigation was conducted into the crime but, due to evidential difficulties, no further action will be taken against a man in his 40s arrested in connection with the offence.
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'The train has still to be located.'
Anyone who has any information relating to the burglary of the land train or who witnessed suspicious behaviour in the area between the relevant times should call Lowestoft police on 101, quoting reference number 40241/18.