Art enthusiast thanks 'on the ball' police after quick return of stolen bag

Amateur Norwich artist Dave Cole.

Amateur Norwich artist Dave Cole. - Credit: Dave Cole

A painting enthusiast who did not realise his bag had been stolen has thanked police for returning his painting equipment in under an hour.

Dave Cole, from Upper St Giles Street in Norwich, was having coffee outside at Cafe Bar Marzano at The Forum at 10am on Wednesday, June 2, when he put his computer bag by his chair.

The Forum completely empty during coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Brittany Woodman

The Forum in Norwich, which houses Cafe Bar Marzano. - Credit: Archant

He was meeting with members of the Norwich Outdoor Painting Group and put his black bag, which had about £200 worth of art equipment in by his table near the perimeter fence.

The retired oil rig installation supervisor only knew his bag had been stolen after getting a call from a Norfolk Police officer in the nearby Bethel Street station at 10.20am saying they had his bag.

Mr Cole said: "It was amazing the police got things sorted out so quickly. I didn't know the bag had been stolen. I was still drinking coffee. The police deserve a pat on the back. They were on the ball.

"I'm surprised no-one saw the person taking the bag because there were quite a few people sitting there.

"It looked like there would be some computer goodies in there but there were only paint brushes. I did have my iPad in my bag in the morning but luckily took it out."

Most Read

The amateur painter said he had been inside the cafe for part of the time ordering a drink during the 20-minute period in which the bag was stolen.

He received a call from the police who told him it had been recovered by officers after people reported them about a suspicious object.

They were able to contact him because it had his number in and added the police were investigating the theft, which included checking CCTV at the cafe.

And thanks to the quick action, Mr Cole managed to have his bag back within 45 minutes of it going missing.

He warned people to stay cautious while out and about.

The retired oil rig supervisor, who joined the painting group three years ago, managed to paint the River Wensum by Pulls Ferry.

A Norfolk Police spokesperson said officers found a bag and its contents discarded near Bethel Street Police Station in Norwich on Wednesday, June 2, around 10am.

The bag was stolen from a table at a cafe nearby and thrown on the street near the police station where officers picked it up and returned it to the owner.

PC Daniel Chilvers, Norwich city centre beat manager, said: “A bag was discovered near the police station and we just made sure we checked the contents and luckily found some identification so we could return it to its rightful owner.”

Anyone with information can contact PC Chilvers at Norfolk Police on 101 quoting reference 36/37951/21.