Norwich House of Fraser thieves were “professionals”

Professional shoplifters have stolen about �13,500-worth of valuables, including designer clothes, from one of Norwich's biggest stores.

House of Fraser department store, in Chapelfield Shopping Centre, is working with police to try to track down a trio of suspected thieves, who are suspected to have stolen from the store on three separate occasions.

Police have released CCTV images of the three people they would like to speak to in connection with the spate of high-value thefts, that included items from brands such as Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren and Diesel.

The first theft took place at the store on Saturday, October 2 last year some time between 3.30pm and 3.50pm; the second on Sunday, January 23 between 1.40pm and 2pm and the third on Sunday, January 30 at around 1.40pm.

Store manager Kate Morgan admitted it was an unusual set of thefts for the store, but thought the crimes came as a result of a well-planned operation.

Mrs Morgan said: 'The high value is because of the type of brands that were taken and that they were taking 30 or 40 [items] at a time.

'We don't think they were local; we think they were a professional group who have been hitting stores all over the country.

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'They were in and out in a matter of minutes like any professional shoplifters. They will probably have watched us and looked for our quiet times, and when we are most vulnerable.'

Mrs Morgan said the theft was not a common problem in the store, adding: 'We don't really suffer from shoplifting at all; that is why this was quite alarming and we want to nip it in the bud. What we have done, though, is make sure that our customer security is up to what is required.

'We only missed them by about two minutes the second time they hit us, so we were pretty close to catching them.'

Police are keen to speak to anyone who believes they may recognise the two women and their male accomplice or who may have been offered such items for sale in suspicious circumstances.'

Contact PC Joshua Peak at Norfolk Constabulary on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Has your business been targeted by criminals? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or on email