Sweet-toothed thief steals 2.5 kilos of chocolate from top restaurant

Thief takes chocolate from fine restaurant in Norwich

This man allegedly took foodie items from outside the back of Benedicts restaurant in Norwich. - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

A thief with a love for the finer things in life stole £220 worth of foodie items from a Norwich fine dining restaurant - getting away with them on his bike.

Thief steals chocolate from fine dining restaurant

The man starts looking at the delivery box of goodies left outside the back of Benedicts restaurant. - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

The man, dressed in a hoodie, grey tracksuit trousers, a baseball cap and wearing a Covid mask around his neck, helped himself to a delivery of chocolate, nuts and herbs delivered to the restaurant Benedicts.

Thief steals chocolate from fine dining restaurant in Norwich

The man's bike which he propped up while taking a look at the delivery boxes - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

But it seems the thief wasn't quite as keen on vegetables - choosing to leave behind beetroot, potatoes and onions in his early morning shopping spree.

The theft happened at 6.30am today, Thursday, in Westwick Street, at the rear of the Benedicts restaurant in 9, St Benedicts Street.

Thief steals chocolate from Benedicts restaurant Norwich

The man starts looking at the delivery left at Benedicts restaurant - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

The delivery had been dropped off outside just a few minutes before with chef/restaurant owner Richard Bainbridge arriving at his premises shortly after.

By that time, the veg boxes of produce - mainly containing cooking chocolate and a variety of cashews, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts and peanuts - had been rifled through.

Thief takes chocolate from top restaurant in Norwich

Caught on camera: the man props up his bike to take a closer look at the delivery left outside Benedicts restaurant in Norwich - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

The thief had also taken a small amount of rosemary, spring onions and Swiss chard but left the rest behind - either because he didn't fancy it or because he couldn't carry any more on his bike.

Thief steals chocolate from fine dining restaurant in Norwich

The man can be seen picking up some of the goods - Credit: Richard Bainbridge

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The incident was captured on the restaurant's security CCTV camera. 

Mr Bainbridge said the delivery from Essex-based Fisher & Woods had been dropped off as usual for the past six years without any problem.

"It sits there outside the back door for no longer than half an hour-45 minutes.

"He literally rooted through the boxes, balanced some on his bike and made off with them, the items were quite big, it was as if he just took what he needed, perhaps for his breakfast.

"He took around £220 worth and I only make about £20 profit on a table so that means I have to work the whole of the night and more just to recoup the loss.

"What is upsetting is that we've worked so hard in Covid and it was now all going so well, we are just trying to get back on our feet - when this happens."

Richard Bainbridge, Benedicts, Norwich

Chef patron Richard Bainbridge, at Benedicts restaurant, pictured before the incident took place. - Credit: Archant

Mr Bainbridge put out an appeal on social media in case any restaurant or cafe locally was offered any of the items. The chocolate was an unusual Belgian variety called Callebaut.

If anyone has any information, they should contact Norfolk police.