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Safe dragged across floor in book shop break-in

PUBLISHED: 12:31 10 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:48 10 August 2020

Damaged caused by two thieves who broke into The Book Hive in London Street, Norwich, at around 2.30am on Sunday, August 9 and tried to steal a safe. Picture: The Book Hive

Damaged caused by two thieves who broke into The Book Hive in London Street, Norwich, at around 2.30am on Sunday, August 9 and tried to steal a safe. Picture: The Book Hive

The Book hive

A Norwich book shop which helped to raise money for a mental health charity during the height of the coronavirus lockdown was the target of thieves who broke in under the cover of darkness.

Damaged caused by two thieves who broke into The Book Hive in London Street, Norwich, at around 2.30am on Sunday, August 9 and tried to steal a safe. Picture: The Book HiveDamaged caused by two thieves who broke into The Book Hive in London Street, Norwich, at around 2.30am on Sunday, August 9 and tried to steal a safe. Picture: The Book Hive

The Book Hive, in London Street, was broken into in the early hours of Sunday, August 9, by thieves who caused “a fair amount of damage” to the shop.

The glass front door was smashed in by a pair of intruders, who targeted a heavy safe at the back of the shop.

It was dragged down the steps to the front of the premises, but the thieves could move it no further and abandoned their attempt, choosing instead to “help themselves to hand sanitiser”.

While the safe was not taken, there was still a large amount of damage caused to the shop during the incident.

During the height of lockdown, owner Henry Layte launched their “mega box” of books – with 10pc of all profits going to the Norman Lamb Mental Health and Wellbeing Foundation to help support them during a difficult time for such organisations.

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But, while The Book Hive said it “really isn’t our style” to put out a request for donations, they also said they would be “extremely grateful” if customers chose now to make a purchase.

A social media post said: “There is a fair amount of damage to sort out, so if you were thinking of buying a book from us for your staycation, or something from our website, then now would be an ideal time.
“It is something of a modern phenomenon for people to put out requests for donations, which really isn’t our style – this is not that.

Henry Layte of The Book Hive, which is celebrating ten years in business. Picture: Jamie Honeywood Henry Layte of The Book Hive, which is celebrating ten years in business. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

“But as I say, if you do fancy a new title anytime soon we would be extremely grateful for your support.”

Norfolk Police said that two men in their 40s were arrested at the scene after they were called at just after 2am to reports of a burglary in progress.

Myles Harris, 41, of St Clements Hill, was charged with theft. He has also been charged with criminal damage and threatening behaviour in relation to two other offences in Norwich over the last two months.

He was due to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The Book Hive, Norwich. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Book Hive, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A second man, Mark Wilshaw, 41, of Lintock Road, was also charged on suspicion of theft. He has been released on bail and is due to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 16.


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