Family rocked by theft

CALLOUS thieves have stolen a valuable antique rocking horse destined for a four-year-old boy's Christmas stocking.The 110-year-old heirloom, worth in excess of £1,000 was snatched from the back of a truck in Hitcham, near Hadleigh, one hour before it was due to be delivered back to the family who had cherished it for generations.

CALLOUS thieves have stolen a valuable antique rocking horse destined for a four-year-old boy's Christmas stocking.

The 110-year-old heirloom, worth in excess of £1,000 was snatched from the back of a truck in Hitcham, near Hadleigh, one hour before it was due to be delivered back to the family who had cherished it for generations.

Piers and Claire Day, of Elmswell, had sent the horse off to specialist rocking horse restorers and manufacturers Hitcham Horses ten months ago to be groomed ready for Christmas.

Even though the hundreds of pounds worth of restoration work had been completed several months ago, the Days asked Hitcham Horses to store the horse so it would be a Christmas surprise for their four-year-old son Robert.

But on Monday night, while the unmarked delivery truck was left for just ten minutes in the Causeway, thieves broke in and spirited the horse away.

The horrified rocking horse restorer Derek Heynes than had to inform the Days their Christmas dream had been shattered. "It wasn't a call I wanted to make," he said.

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"To be fair they took it well, but they are obviously very upset. We had put a lot of work into the rocking horse and it was just about to be delivered.

"If it had been a new horse we could have made another one, but this was irreplaceable."

Claire Day, said: "It's been in the family a long time and dates from the 1890s and had been put back in brand spanking order.

"Fortunately Robert is blissfully unaware that he was going to receive it, but what disgusts me is that whoever stole it must have known it was a child's Christmas present.

"It's just such a mean thing to do, to steal a child's present just days before Christmas, I'm very upset and shocked that somebody would do such a thing.

"It was stolen at around 5.30pm which is a very busy time and it would have taken two people to lift the rocking horse, so somebody must have seen people carrying it, and we just want to get it back."

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: "This incident happened over a short period of time and we would appeal to any witnesses to come forward. It is likely that more than one person would have been needed to take the rocking horse."

Anyone who has any information relating to the theft is asked to contact Pc Neil Barnes on 01473 613500.

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