Thieves swam across river to steal paddleboards from new firm

These two boards were stolen from Norwich Paddleboard Hire last Wednesday.

These two boards were stolen from Norwich Paddleboard Hire last Wednesday. - Credit: Norwich Paddleboard Hire

The owner of a fledgling Norwich business has urged thieves who stole his paddleboards to do the right thing and bring them back.

Adam Tiffany "accidentally" started Norwich Paddleboard Hire in 2020, which began operating from its new base at the Gibraltar Gardens pub, on the banks of the River Wensum, at the end of March this year.

But he has now been left with a £900 hole in his pocket after the theft of two of his boards between 2pm and 6pm last Wednesday.

He said: "We do three sessions on a Wednesday, in the morning, afternoon and at sunset. The staff members called me to say they were two boards short, which they shouldn't have been.

Adam Tiffany runs Norwich Paddleboard Hire.

Adam Tiffany runs Norwich Paddleboard Hire. - Credit: Archant

"At first we thought someone must still be out so we waited until about 9pm, when we'd normally be back in by half past seven. Everyone was accounted for so we knew something wasn't right.

"And the staff were at the kiosk the whole time so they couldn't have been taken from the pub.

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"We've had three different witnesses who have said they saw a group of teenagers between 18 and 20 years old swim from Anderson's Meadow, nick the two boards and hide them in a bush. They then picked them up an hour later and walked them along the path up towards Aldi."

Staff reviewed CCTV footage at the pub, but unfortunately the area where the boards were laid out was not covered by the cameras.

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And further bad news followed when the insurance company refused to pay out as the boards were not chained up at the time of the theft, which Mr Tiffany described as "ridiculous".

That meant he had to buy two new boards for £900 out of his own pocket, in order to avoid cancelling bookings this weekend.

But despite his frustration, Mr Tiffany has invited the thieves to make up for their wrong.

He said: "Things happen and people mess around, but I just want the boards back.

"The Broads Authority is aware, the police are aware and lots of people have seen our social media post. It's a distinctive design on the boards, so they can't use or sell them. So they might as well just return them to us."

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