Model train sets stolen from Bure Valley Railway
- Credit: Archant
Collectable model train sets worth around £2,000 were stolen from a north Norfolk railway attraction this morning.
The 13 new sets were stolen from the Bure Valley Railway (BVR) shop on Norwich Road, Aylsham, at 2.15am.
Two R1155 Hornby Virgin Trains Pendolino sets were taken and the rest were made by Graham Farish - worth £95 to £160.
The Graham Farish sets taken were the Cornish Riviera Express; Countryside Coal; Steel Worker and Seaside Excursion.
Both the shop and railway remains open to visitors.
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Andrew Barnes, BVR managing director, said: 'It is frustrating. We don't operate for profit. We are trying to build up the model railway business to support the railway. The theft has cost us in terms of time.
'We have got people who give up their time freely for the attraction and then somebody comes in and takes things without paying. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This is not stopping us selling the model railway kits.'
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A neighbour, from Buxton Road in Aylsham, called the police after she heard glass smashing.
Officers and the BVR facilities manager Andrew Tunwell, from Aylsham, were at the shop within minutes of the theft after he was alerted by the attraction's alarm system.
Mr Barnes was heartened that the neighbour had called the police.
'It shows the good side of society,' he added.
The BVR, which has CCTV, is Norfolk's longest fifteen inch gauge line and runs between Aylsham and Wroxham.
It was set up in 1990 and has been selling model railway items for 12 years. It is now one of the largest model railway stockists in East Anglia.
Thieves climbed over the side gates of the attraction before breaking through toughened double glazed glass to get into the shop.
They entered through the Thomas the Tank Engine corner forcing the area to be sealed off this morning because of shards of glass.
It is understood a silver car was in the BVR car park at the time of the theft.
All 15 miniature items which were stolen were made of injection-molded plastic with metal mechanisms and small electric motors.
Witnesses and anyone with information should call PC Jack Weaver on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Do you have a crime story? Email crime correspondent Peter Walsh on firstname.lastname@example.org