Robbers target TV winner's grandfather

THIEVES tied up and robbed the 83-year-old grandfather of Simon Ambrose - the winner of television's The Apprentice - when they struck at the former Ipswich jeweller's East Anglian home.

THIEVES tied up and robbed the 83-year-old grandfather of Simon Ambrose - the winner of television's The Apprentice - when they struck at the former Ipswich jeweller's East Anglian home.

Frinton jeweller Percy Ambrose was upstairs resting in his large Georgian house in Thorpe-le-Soken when two raiders struck.

They first attacked his wife, Naomi Collins-Ambrose, as she arrived home at around 5.30pm on Tuesday. The 50-year-old was bundled into the house, tied up and locked in the study.

They then tied up diamond-merchant Mr Ambrose, who with Mrs Collins-Ambrose runs Frocks n Rocks in Connaught Avenue, Frinton, before stealing “many thousands of pounds” worth of expensive jewellery and paintings.


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Mr Ambrose previously ran jewellers FH Fish and Sons in Frinton and also had a jewellery shop of the same name in Ipswich, next to old Cornhill post office.

The drama comes just weeks after Mr Ambrose's grandson Simon won the latest series of BBC's The Apprentice, in which entrepreneurs are either fired or hired by Sir Alan Sugar.

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No-one was available to comment yesterday from the Ambrose's off-road house in Thorpe le Soken, which was once home to the late author Arnold Bennet, whose famous novels included Anna of the Five Towns and Clayhanger.

But police said neither of the couple had been badly hurt during the burglary and that they had managed to telephone for help themselves.

They were, however, described as “very shaken” when officers attended the scene and released them from their bindings.

Items taken during Tuesday's robbery included a still-life of bottles by Tom Keating, the famous art restorer turned forger from Dedham whose works are now highly collectable.

The men who carried out the burglary were described as dark skinned about 6ft tall and stockily built.

Millions of viewers tuned in last month to watch Mr Ambrose's grandson, Simon, win the BBC show The Apprentice. A few weeks before the victory the young entrepreneur visited Mr Ambrose and his wife at the opening of jewellery and upmarket hire store Frocks n Rocks.

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