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Ram-raid at town museum

PUBLISHED: 11:17 08 February 2008 | UPDATED: 19:41 05 July 2010

THIEVES have ram-raided Lowestoft Maritime Museum in a bizarre bid to steal part of a historical diver's suit.

It is believed someone drove a motorbike through the reception door inside the Sparrow's Nest building

before hacking off the copper and brass helmet and breastplate of a life-size diving model, which was displayed inside a glass cabinet.

THIEVES have ram-raided Lowestoft Maritime Museum in a bizarre bid to steal part of a historical diver's suit.

It is believed someone drove a motorbike through the reception door inside the Sparrow's Nest building

before hacking off the copper and brass helmet and breastplate of a life-size diving model, which was displayed inside a glass cabinet.

Police alerted curator Peter Parker on Tuesday lunchtime after they heard an alarm going off at the museum, but say the crime could have taken place as far back as Saturday morning.

The suit, which had been in reception since the museum was extended in 1978, would have been used by someone in the town employed in the diving profession prior to the second world war.

Mr Parker, who is also chairman of the museum, said: “I came down to find they had got through the front door of the cottage; it looked like it had been

ram-raided by a motorbike and the locks and deadlocks had been knocked out.

“The front door had been bashed in and the alarm was going off. They had broken the glass of the cabinet and cut the helmet and breastplate away from the rest of the suit. It seems as though someone knew what was in the museum and they wanted it.

“We don't put any value on the items we have as the historical value is more important to us than the financial value, but the lowest it is worth is about £2,000.”

A spokesman for Lowestoft police confirmed a motorbike or similar

vehicle had been used to access the museum's reception and the helmet and breastplate were the only items taken. Tyre marks were also found on the outside door.

The incident was thought to have taken place between 11.45am on Saturday and 1pm on Tuesday.

“We would like anyone who may have seen anything or anyone acting suspiciously to come forward as it will help us reach a more specific time as to when this happened,” added the police spokesman.

Information to Lowestoft police on 01986 835300.

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