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Pensioner tells of knife horror

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK pensioner who feared he would be killed when knife-wielding youths stole his fishing equipment has bravely made a public appeal for witnesses.

A SUFFOLK pensioner who feared he would be killed when knife-wielding youths stole his fishing equipment has bravely made a public appeal for witnesses.

The 69-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "I had just celebrated my birthday the day before and when this happened I thought I was going to die. I was terrified because I thought they were going to use the knives."

The fisherman was approached by a gang of youths on Wednesday at 3 pm and robbed of nearly £1,000 of fishing tackle at Sharnford Lock, Great Blakenham.

The pensioner, who has had trouble sleeping since the incident, told The Star: "I had been fishing all day and had just packed up all my gear when a group of four men and a girl walked up to me. One of the men asked me if I caught anything. I said: "Yes I have had quite a good day." He said: "Well we'll take your gear."

Two of the group were brandishing knives demanding that he handed over his equipment.

"I just stood there terrified," said the man.

"I heard the girl say: "Don't hurt him, just take the gear." To be honest they didn't need the knives. There was a group of them in their early 20's so there was no way I would try and tackle them.

"I'm 69-years old, I could have ended up in the river and not be found for days. They didn't say a word between them about who would do what. Looking back it seemed as if they had planned it.

"It was strange because they didn't seem to bother about their identity. They weren't masked.."

Three of the men and the girl left with the equipment while the other stayed behind before walking off.

The stolen equipment included a rod, holdall, 13 metre fishing pole, bank sticks, umbrella, tackle box, net bag and two reels.

Appealing for witnesses the pensioner, who wasn't injured but was left severely shaken by the incident, said: "The equipment was quite heavy to carry away and they would have looked strange because they weren't dressed for fishing."

The male offenders, who are all in their early 20's are described as:

n white male, around 6 ft tall, wearing black woolly hat, dark blue parka-style coat, dark blue jeans, white baseball boots;

n black male, around 5 ft 9 ins tall, clean shaven, wearing black woolly hat, black bomber jacket and blue jeans;

n white male, around 5 ft 9 ins tall, clean shaven, wearing woolly hat, light coloured jacket and blue jeans;

n white male, around 5 ft 9 ins tall, clean shaven, wearing bright blue Nike training shoes.

The woman is described as white, late teens, 5 ft 4 ins – 5 ft 5 ins tall, slim build, long waist length blond hair. She was wearing a green jacket and dark blue tracksuit bottoms.

Anyone who may recognise the description of the offenders or who has any other information should contact DC John Dolan, Stowmarket police station on 01284-774100, or Crimestoppers free on 0800-555999.

Police would also like to hear from anyone who may be offered any items of fishing equipment for sale.


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