'Weirdest crime ever' - Shop owner's plea for return of stolen sign

Sam Avery, with his wife and their daughter outside of Drug Store in Norwich. The photo was taken just days before the...

Sam Avery, with his wife and their daughter outside of Drug Store in Norwich. The photo was taken just days before the letters were stolen - Credit: Sam Avery

A business owner has appealed for a handcrafted sign to be returned to him after it was stolen from his shopfront. 

Last week, the lettering above the Drug Store skate shop on Pottergate in Norwich was taken, less than a fortnight before the business relocates.

In what owner Sam Avery described as "the weirdest crime ever", somebody arrived outside of the shop in a white van armed with a ladder and made off with the letters that hung above the door.

This was no ordinary shop sign though - it was hand-crafted from pieces of broken skateboards specifically for the store when it rebranded more than a decade ago.

Mr Avery said: "Quite a lot went into making the sign, a friend of mine made it by hand. It's not really worth anything in money sense but has great sentimental value, so we would love it back.

"I've been racking my brains trying to work out why somebody might want it. I'm not entirely convinced it was malicious, as we are moving location and the shop is empty, so perhaps somebody thought we had gone and didn't need it."

The incident has been reported to the police, but Mr Avery said his preferred outcome would be for somebody to simply return it anonymously.

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He said: "We did used to get jokers coming in and asking us whether we had any drugs for sale, so perhaps it was that type of person, but all we know is we want it back.

Sam Avery at his skate shop, The Drug Store.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sam Avery, pictured at his skate shop in 2011, The Drug Store. - Credit: Antony Kelly

"Perhaps it was an honest mistake and somebody who regularly came to us might have accidentally thought we were leaving it behind so took it as a souvenir.

"For me, the best outcome would be for somebody to just slip them under the door anonymously - I think I'd rather not know who it is so I don't have to get annoyed at them."

The shop has been on Pottergate since the mid-90s and has been known as The Drug Store since 2009. However, when non-essential retailers are allowed to relocate it will be based in the St Peter Parmentergate church on King Street.

A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary urged anybody with information to contact PC Kate Griffith in Op Solve on 101 quoting crime reference 36/11678/21.