Teddy bear theft fails to mar Great Ellingham charity festival

Organisers of a charity teddy bear festival in Norfolk have spoken of their sadness after two bears were stolen and another two were damaged.

However, a spokesman for the Great Ellingham Teddy Bear Festival said the incidents had not marred a 'brilliant' two weeks of fundraising activities in the village, near Attleborough.

Police are appealing for witnesses following the thefts and criminal damage that took place in Chequers Lane

some time between Wednesday, July 18 at 9pm and Thursday, July 19 at 7am.

Two straw bears which are made as part of an annual teddy bear festival in the village were stolen, while another two were damaged.

Members of the public pay a pound for a trail map to locate the bears and the proceeds of the event are distributed to East Anglia's Children's Hospices and to other youth groups in the area.

Sylvia Clayton, one of the organisers of the festival, which came to an end at the weekend, said: 'It is quite sad that a couple have been destroyed, but there are a lot more good people out there and we have had so many more positive comments.'

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'It has been an absolutely brilliant two weeks and even though the weather has been atrocious, the people of Norfolk have come in their droves.'

Ninety one straw teddy bears were on show in the village this year and organisers are set to celebrate the festival's 10th anniversary in 2013.

Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in relation to the thefts or criminal damage are asked to contact PCSO Dion Phillips at Attleborough SNT on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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