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Gnome-nappers hit Felixstowe garden

PUBLISHED: 22:03 27 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 March 2010

FELIXSTOWE pensioner George Long has given up his fight to stop thieves from stealing his prized gnomes.

The 72-year-old had just under 200 gnomes but now has only been left with 15 after thieves have systematically stolen them over two years.

FELIXSTOWE pensioner George Long has given up his fight to stop thieves stealing his prized gnomes.

Mr Long, 72, had almost 200 gnomes. But he has been left with only 15 after thieves have systematically stolen them over two years.

In the lastest theft, last Friday, ten gnomes were stolen from his back garden on Elizabeth Way.

It left Mr Long declaring sadly: "I have just given up."

He is now removing the remaining 15 figures and keeping them locked away.

He has given some of his garden companions to his daughter, who will take them away to keep safe in her house.

The latest batch of gnomes stolen from Mr Long's garden was valued at £100, but their sentimental value meant more to him because everyone of his gnomes had been bought by his grandchildren for him to hand-paint.

He said he is fed up of the thieves who have been robbing him of the fruits of his hobby for two years. The gnomes are of various sizes, up to 18in in height.

Five smaller gnomes are normally stolen each time, but in the latest spate, ten of his larger and heavier gnomes were taken from his garden at night.

Mr Long said: "I had them pinched the very next day after my wife died."

He has tried to stop the thieves by increasing the size of his fence to 6ft, but the intruders just smash the fence and climb over.

He said he does not think children playing a cruel trick were the culprits because the ten gnomes that had recently been stolen were heavy and made of concrete.

He said he thought they were possibly being sold for drugs or at car boot sales.

He said he has told his grandchildren not to buy any more gnomes for him to paint as he fears they will just be stolen again.

He is upset that he can no longer enjoy looking at his self-made gnome community in his back garden, nor enjoy his hobby of hand-painting the gnomes.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the latest theft, which took place between 11pm on Thursday, 20 June, and 5.30am on Friday, June 21.

The gnomes, which are multi-coloured and distinctive, range from a grandfather gnome sitting on a log to a large gnome with his dog. They are 8in to 18in high.

Anyone with information should contact Felixstowe Police on 01473 613500.

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