May 19 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
A thief was caught red-handed stealing gems from the window of a Norwich jeweller’s after a quick-thinking manager closed the security grills to trap him.
Police had been called to Dipples and Son, in Swan Lane, in the city centre, to reports a man had smashed a window in the entrance arcade with a hammer.
The thief had started putting jewellery from display cases into a bag, but before he could make his getaway, the outside grills had been lowered and prevented his escape.
He was left trapped in the small space for several minutes before police arrived to take him away at about 12.30pm on Monday.
Shop manager Chris Ellis, 34, said a few customers were in the shop at the time.
He added: “I heard a thud, and one of my colleagues said a man had smashed one of the windows in the entrance arcade. It’s laminated glass so it took him several attempts to actually break the glass. I called the police and put the grills down.
“It must have taken about 15 seconds for the grills to come down, which should have been enough time for him to run off, but he stayed. The police took about five minutes to come and he was trapped in the entrance arcade.
“We watched it back on CCTV camera. From the camera’s angle it looked like he was pacing about a bit while he was trapped, but he was still putting jewels into a bag, for some reason. All the jewels were recovered.”
Mr Ellis, who is the fifth generation of his family to run Dipples, which has been in Swan Lane about 120 years, said it had been a shock.
“It’s not something that happens every day, so it was a shock, and it was a shock for the customers we had in the shop at the time. But no-one was injured and I’m glad we caught him.”
Daniel Hutton, 29, from Lothian Street, Norwich, pleaded guilty to burglary and stealing a quantity of jewellery worth £3,655, when he appeared before the city magistrates’ court yesterday.
His case was sent to the crown court in Norwich for sentencing at a date to be fixed.
A Norfolk police spokesman said they were called after a man approached the entrance to the shop and smashed a window with a hammer. Police attended and Hutton was arrested and taken to Wymondham police investigation centre for questioning. He was later charged with burglary and remanded in custody to appear before magistrates.
Investigating officer Det Con Mike Cox said: “This was a very serious offence and a frightening experience for those involved. Thankfully no-one was injured and the action of staff led to the suspect being trapped before he was arrested. We are pleased that Hutton has admitted guilty at the first opportunity.”
One of the shop windows has been boarded-up and Mr Ellis said it would cost about £1,000 to replace. The shop closed on Monday afternoon following the burglary, but opened as usual yesterday.
See the Mustard website at www.mustardtv.co.uk for an interview with Mr Ellis.