The organiser of a community library has been left feeling "really angry" after a man wiped out her book collection in the middle of the night.

Zara Harper started the Little Olive Library during the 2020 lockdown after she cleared out her book collection and placed them in a refurbished animal hutch just off her front garden in Olive Road in Costessey.

After people started donating their own books, she created The Little Windmill library in a second location in the area. 

Norwich Evening News: Zara Harper started running the Little Olive library during lockdownZara Harper started running the Little Olive library during lockdown (Image: Zara Harper)

Ms Harper said she checks on both libraries daily, tidying them up and restocking the collections of around 50 adult books and 30 children's books.

"When I looked on Tuesday morning, I saw the Little Olive was basically empty.

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"Luckily we do have CCTV and after scanning it back, we realised it wasn't just an overzealous reader that had cleared the books out."

She described seeing a man approaching the library with "two big rucksacks and a box of some description" which he filled with books.

Norwich Evening News: The library sits at the end of her front gardenThe library sits at the end of her front garden (Image: Zara Harper)

"He then had a wander around my front garden before loading himself up and taking off." 

She later found the box discarded in a bush further down the road "looking like they were hidden to collect later on".

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Ms Harper admitted she had not reported the incident to the police but said she was upset and confused about why somebody would do this to her good-spirited venture.

"I have no idea why anyone would steal a bunch of second-hand books - they virtually have no resale value.

Norwich Evening News: She captured the suspect on CCTVShe captured the suspect on CCTV (Image: Zara Harper)

"The whole thing is bizarre but he had planned it - he brought a box.

"It has made me feel really angry and quite uneasy to think that someone was violating my property and safe space while I was asleep only metres away."