Thief makes off on quad bike

A CHEEKY burglar has broken into the Museum of East Anglian Life and used the estate manager's own quad bike and trailer to load up thousands of pounds worth of tools.

A CHEEKY burglar has broken into the Museum of East Anglian Life and used the estate manager's own quad bike and trailer to load up thousands of pounds worth of tools.

The thief then roared off into the night with no lights across fields and along Combs Lane with his haul of tools, which are used to maintain the nature reserve, wild flower meadows and River Ratt on the 70-acre site in the centre of Stowmarket.

The tools had been generously donated or bought for the museum, a charity, through fundraising and estate manager Angus McFadzean says he has no idea how staff will now keep up with all the work they have on the acres they have to care for.

The haul included the quad bike and trailer, strimmers, lawnmowers, hand tools, climbing ropes and harnesses and a welder and is estimated to be worth in excess of £10,000.

The Museum of East Anglian Life has now increased security after the burglar struck on Saturday when Mr McFadzean, who lives on site, was away having entered the London Marathon.

He said: “Since we started work transforming the site these tools have been donated and we have worked very, very hard to get them.

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“We have no money, we are a charity and to get them we had a very tall mountain to climb. It's so cheeky, taking the risk of driving around town with the quad bike when there were a lot of police about on Saturday night.

“I am really upset, we have worked so hard to get these tools to maintain our lovely nature reserve.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary confirmed that sometime between 4.45pm on Saturday and 9am on Sunday criminals broke into an outbuilding at the museum in Crowe Street by forcing a door.

She said the items stolen were paid for by funds raised through sales at the on-site charity shop, and will seriously hit the museum's conservation work and operations.

She said: “It appears the quad bike was driven off the site with the trailer through a gate onto Combs Lane towards Combs Ford at around 10.45pm.

“The bike had no lights and is noisy, and police are appealing for anyone who may have seen or heard this vehicle in the area at the time to come forward.”

Calls should be made to Pc Andrew Barker at Stowmarket Police Station on 01473 613500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

N If you can help the museum by donating tools contact estate manager Angus McFadzean on 01449 612229.

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