By Rob Banks
A daredevil gang stole rare artifacts worth £20 after using pogo sticks and an electric drill to break into a Suffolk museum.
The criminals are believed to be connected to a mastermind who plotted more successful £60million raids on museums in Cambridge and Norwich.
“I suppose it was only a matter of time before they struck here,” said Mrs Anne Teak, curator of Stowmarket’s Museum of East Anglian Strife. “Some of the items are irreplaceable top end pieces which were donated by generous local families when their grannies died.”
The artifacts were a seven-inch jelly mould, made of some kind of metal alloy, worth £3, an OXO tin (circa 1950) valued at £7.50, and a silver plated but tarnished hairbrush worth £11, once owned by a deceased usherette at the Regal Cinema.
Police say the ruthless gang used a high-powered Hilti DD350 drill, costing £3,000, to tunnel under the museum shop, then used pogo sticks to jump over state-of-the-art laser security beams to snatch their haul.
They then left via the staff kitchen door, jemmying it open with a spoon before making their getaway in a high-speed ice cream van.
Stowmarket’s top thiefcatcher, Det Insp Will Knabbem urged any witnesses to ring Crimestoppers. He said: “We are finger-printing the spoon which they carelessly left behind. The Oxo tin is very distinctive and may be too hot for a fence to handle. It is red with white lettering, spelling O-X-O. We need to find the items before they are melted down and lost to history.”
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