April 25 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, December 7, 2013
A Great Yarmouth hotelier has captured on CCTV the shocking moment thieves stole sandbags from his doorstep - and left a trail of sand to theirs.
Edward Shearing, 56, who runs Baron’s Court in Norfolk Square, said he was horrified by the unneighbourly act and wanted to publicly shame the culprits.
And he did not have to go far to find them since one of the bags had split leaving a trail of incriminating sand from his door to theirs, just a stone’s throw away.
“It would be comical really if it weren’t such a serious matter,” he said, adding: “They looked pretty fit and healthy and should have been helping others instead of helping themselves.”
Mr Shearing said like many others he had heeded warnings about the impending floods and visited several stations to collect empty sand bags provided by the borough council.
But because of the “chaotic” press of people there he opted to fill the bags himself with his wife and son in law - helping others at the beach including an old man who was attempting to fill bags with a trowel.
However having gone backwards and forwards several times he realised he wasn’t getting very far.
Instead of the 24 he thought he had filled there were far less, leading him to suspect something was amiss.
In the morning when the flood waters had receded he decided to check his CCTV footage.
It revealed that two men had come back twice during the time he and his family were frantically doing all they could to defend their home, suggesting they were watching and waiting until the coast was clear.
“It was amusing in the morning when I looked at it. One of them has a bag and it splits and there is a trail of sand going up my drive to their house, a block of flats,” he said. “I just thought ‘what a pair of idiots, they have not even covered up the evidence.’ On the other hand they have not given a thought to other people’s properties. It would have been a different story if we had been flooded.”
Mr Shearing informed the police who did knock at the address but were unable to rouse the occupants.
Meanwhile a business premises on Caister Road also hit out at the “nice people” who stole their sandbags. Michael Bezance, managing director at True Traders said: “We sandbagged our openings like everyone else when we left work on Thursday evening. The surge tide came and went with no problems our way. Just as well because after we left some nice people stole our sandbags and left us unprotected. Who would do that?
“It really annoyed us because just 200m from us was the bag filling station at Beaconsfield Road.”
It was one of several such instances across the borough revealing a flip side to the caring community spirit which eased the trauma for many.
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said stealing a sandbag was not classed as a theft. “But we do encourage people to leave them where they are because they are there for a reason,” she added.