Thieves snatched bottles of milk from the doorsteps of elderly women in two Norwich streets –and the victims fear the thefts may have been encouraged by the street light switch-off.

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The thieves targeted a milkround in the early hours of last Tuesday morning in Sycamore Crescent and Maple Drive, off Waterworks Road, in the west of the city.

Pauline Futter, 82, came out of her house at 8am to find her doorstep empty.

Milk had been delivered to other families on the street, but she and two neighbours had their bottles stolen.

She said: “It was very annoying. I’ve been having milk delivered for more than 50 years. We want to keep our milk delivery because it’s a job for people, more convenient for us, and you recycle the glass.”

The lights had been switched off on the street at the end of July, meaning when the milkman came at 4am it was dark.

Mrs Futter added: “The street light switch-off is not going to help.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said they were working with the police to monitor crime in streets where lighting had been turned off. He added only streets with low crime levels were part of the switch-off programme.

Mrs Futter’s neighbour Emma Jay, 96, also had her milk stolen. The great-great-grandmother said: “It is more than frustrating. I had no milk and had to get someone to bring me a pint in.”

The women told their councillor Lucy Galvin, who said: “Milk delivery is a great service, especially for people who aren’t so mobile, and it is important it works properly.

“Also, if crime like this is going up due to the recent street light switch-off, we need to monitor it and let the police and Norfolk County Council know.”

Chris Munn, Dairy Crest’s marketing controller, urged customers to report any thefts to the police.

He said: “We take the stealing of milk from customers very seriously. Such thefts not only affect customers but also damage the livelihood of our milkmen. We will work actively with the police in Norfolk to help prevent further thefts.”

Do you have a crime story for the Evening News? Contact Peter Walsh on 01603772439 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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