On the trail of the one that got away

A thief picked on the wrong person after his victim turned out to be a private detective who has vowed to track him down - even though the item taken was rather bizarre, to say the least.

A thief picked on the wrong person after his victim turned out to be a private detective who has vowed to track him down - even though the item taken was rather bizarre, to say the least.

Ian Lambert was fishing off Cromer Pier early yesterday morning when someone stole a sea bass he had caught and now the investigator is confident he will be able to track the culprit down.

The 41-year-old from Essex often fishes on the pier to relax between investigating cases, but work and pleasure have never mixed until now.

Mr Lambert had caught two sea bass, one weighing about three pounds and one about six pounds, and laid them both out behind him.

He said: “There had been two lads aged between 18 and 20 going around looking at everyone's catch.

“Bonnie, my dog, had barked at them the first time. About half an hour later one walked past again and at the same time I felt a tug on my rod and got up to have a look.

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“In total no more than two minutes had passed. When I looked around the smaller fish had gone. Unfortunately Bonnie didn't bark at them then so she's a bit of a useless guard dog.”

The smaller one was taken, because, he believes, it would be easily put under the criminal's jacket.

But the men made a mistake by telling fisherman on the pier about themselves.

Mr Lambert said: “They were pouring their heart out to some of the other people here, so now I know that information it's going to be easy to track them down.

“They're from Sheringham and as my parents live in Holt I know this area and people well. I will catch them it's just a matter of time.”

Sea bass can be sold for around £5 per pound, so the one that was worth around £15.

The private investigator said: “They clearly did it for the money. But the sad thing is they could have had it if they'd asked.

“I'm eating the one I've got left for dinner tonight. So while they may have ruined my breakfast they won't ruin my dinner.

“It's certainly one of the more bizarre cases I've worked.”

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