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Man arrested over gun haul

PUBLISHED: 23:06 05 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

DETECTIVES hunting raiders who stole seven guns, a sword and two old grenades from Felixstowe's historic Landguard Fort have arrested a man, it was revealed today.

DETECTIVES hunting raiders who stole seven guns, a sword and two old grenades from Felixstowe's historic Landguard Fort have arrested a man, it was revealed today.

Officers have quizzed a 21-year-old man in connection with the break-in at the monument but no charges have been brought at this stage.

The man – who comes from Watford – was arrested by Hertfordshire police acting on information provided by Suffolk officers.

He has been bailed pending further inquiries to return to Felixstowe police station on May 23 when he will either be charged, released from his bail or have his bail renewed.

The alleged burglary happened at the fort overlooking Harwich Harbour in January.

Police said all the weapons that were stolen had been deactivated and could not be used in their present state – but it was possible for someone with specialist expertise to reactivate them.

However, the guns all dated back to the 1940s and were unlikely to be able to be used without extensive and complicated work because of their age and condition.

The items were taken from exhibitions and a store room at the fort, which is owned by English Heritage but run by the Landguard Fort Trust.

Trustees have been gradually collecting exhibits to be used in displays and dioramas as they open up more and more of the fort to the public.

They were able to supply the police with accurate records of the guns, photos, serial numbers and the decommissioning certificates.

Items stolen included four Enfield rifles, including two .303s, and a Bren gun, all from the 1940s, and a Sten gun and a Bardan rifle.

In addition, a Royal Artillery sword, two Mills bomb grenades, also deactivated, and several bayonets and other knives had been taken.

Landguard Fort, the last place England was invaded by a foreign force, is open to the public during the tourist season and over the past few years has had £1.5 million spent on improvements, safety and security.

WEBLINK: www.landguard.com

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