Kind Pcs save couple's Dutch holiday
THEIR long-awaited holiday could have been over before it began.Ipswich pensioners Cyril Peck and Jean Osborne gave up all hope of making their trip to Holland after cruel thieves stole their luggage from under their noses.
THEIR long-awaited holiday could have been over before it began.
Ipswich pensioners Cyril Peck and Jean Osborne gave up all hope of making their trip to Holland after cruel thieves stole their luggage from under their noses.
But thanks to two Ipswich policemen all was saved after the PCs went beyond the call of duty to make sure nothing - not even a last-minute opportunistic crime - would prevent them from enjoying their break.
Today Mr Peck and Mrs Osborne praised Pcs Simon Burman and Chris Squirrell from Suffolk police after their quick-thinking actions turned despair into happiness.
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Things started to go wrong for the couple as they prepared to join an early morning coach trip from the Crown Street bus station to Holland where they were headed for a river cruise.
As they prepared to leave at 3.30am on July 13, 87-year-old Mr Peck placed the pair's two suitcases outside the front door of his Tenby Road home in anticipation of the arrival of their taxi.
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However in the few minutes that he left them a night-owl thief struck and decamped with the cases.
Mr Peck said: “I had a fit when I saw the bags had gone. I thought I'd have a heart attack.”
The panicked couple called the police and within a few minutes Pc Burman and Pc Squirrell were on the scene. The officers sent the couple inside and went on the hunt for the thieves - and within minutes they had located the bags dumped in nearby bushes.
Gone was a digital camera and half a bottle of whiskey but all the clothes and other holiday items remained.
The kind-hearted Pcs scooped up the belongings and returned the cases to the still-stunned OAPs and - with just five minutes before their coach left - rushed them to the bus station.
In the meantime they radioed to headquarters and a second patrol car was dispatched to keep the coach from leaving without them.
Mr Peck said: “The police were brilliant. We thought the cases were gone forever.”
And Mrs Osborne, 71, added: “I didn't think we could go on holiday but the police assured us we'd be all right so we did the suitcases up and the police took us down to Crown Street. They were brilliant to come as quick as that and put us in a police car.”
And the generosity shown to the couple didn't stop there. When the taxi driver from Avenue Taxis arrived he refused to take a fare when they had to send him packing because of the theft and after a glitch with the holiday in Holland - which saw the couple's river cruise end early - holiday company Travelscope refunded them half the cost.
Today Mrs Osborne said: “Everybody has been very kind.”
Have you survived the holiday from hell? Has someone gone beyond the call of duty for you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOR Pcs Simon Burman and Chris Squirrell it was all in a night's work but their kind actions turned a terrible episode into a master class in human kindness.
The officers not only traced the path of the suitcase thief from the couple's Tenby Road door to a nearby recreation ground within a few minutes, they also had the presence of mind to salvage the Dutch holiday.
Pc Burman said: “We hunted through the bushes and luckily found the cases very quickly. Having got the suitcases back they were quite keen to go on holiday.”
And Pc Squirrell said: “It was about 3.55am so they thought there was no way they'd make the coach. We got on the radio to our colleagues who got the coach to wait.
“It was satisfying to see them on their way. We came back to have a further search and we didn't find any other items.
“It's not your normal kind of job but it's actually nice to help them as much as we could.”
Suffolk police is appealing for help in tracking the Tenby Road thieves. Anyone with information should call Pc Burman on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.