Only Fools and Horses props stolen from Norfolk museum
Burglars have snatched iconic props used in the Only Fools and Horses television series from a Norfolk museum.
Cor blimey Rodders, they've only gone an half-inched our bottle of scotch (that's gold watch to you
In an audacious heist that loveable-rogue Del Boy might have dreamt of pulling off himself, burglars have snatched iconic props used in the Only Fools and Horses television series from a Norfolk museum.
Staff at Bressingham Steam Museum, near Diss, were feeling far from lovely jubbly last night after it emerged that light-fingered thieves had made off with a haul of treasures from a touring exhibition about the much-loved show.
Del Boy's famous gold "D" necklace, the gold identity "Rooney" bracelet that he had badly inscribed for his brother Rodney, and the pocket watch which finally made the Trotters multi-millionaires, were among the jewellery taken from the exhibition.
A suitcase filled with watches, which were sold by Del Boy on the market in the series, was also snatched.
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But much like Del Boy's bungled
get-rich schemes, the culprits were last night warned that they could be left looking like plonkers if they try to sell the items - because the jewellery is made from plastic rather than gold and is essentially worthless.
However, because the props are priceless to fans a £1,000 reward is being offered for information which leads to their return.
Howard Stephens, manager of Bressingham Steam Museum, said the jewellery was taken from a locked display cabinet inside a number 37 Peckham bus, which forms part of the exhibition.
The exact date of the theft is not known, but police believe it happened in the last three weeks.
Mr Stephens said: "The items were kept inside a display cabinet behind a screen on a lower part of the number 37 Peckham bus. The bus is screened off and we cannot imagine anyone being able to get to the items, but they have.
"Some of the jewellery is quite realistic and whoever took it probably thought it was real. The jewellery was of no monetary value, but it is obviously of value to fans of the show."
He added: "The cabinet was locked, but it appears to have been forced. Everything is insured, but it is impossible to put a value on items like these. For fans of the show they are irreplaceable. I can't think what anyone would do with them other than show them off, but hopefully if they do that then someone can say 'we know where that came from'".
Perry Aghajanoff, president of the Only Fools and Horses fan club, realised the items were missing after visiting the museum on Thursday to collect them for the Only Fools and Horses annual convention in Romford, Essex, this weekend.
He said: "This is a loss for the nation. These items are iconic and cannot be replaced. Whoever took them must have thought they were real. The jewellery is very realistic. But they are not made of gold - they are fake and worthless."
He said the pocket watch was a prized item and appeared in the episode Time On Our Hands, which was screened in 1996.
In the episode, Del Boy's "significant other" Raquel's father spots a long-lost 18th century Harrison marine watch, which he recommends getting valued.
When the watch is sold for auction at Sotherby's, the highest bid is for £6.2m and the family finally becomes rich.
Mr Aghajanoff said: "It will be difficult to sell these things on as items from Only Fools and Horses because they are so iconic. Whoever took them could only really throw them away."
Mr Aghajanoff began working on the television show in 2001, helping with continuity and sourcing scenery and props. Some of the items were given to him and others were bought at auction.
Anybody who has any information, or who might have been offered the items, should contact Diss Safter Neighbourhood Team via 0845 4564567."