Dramatic break-in at village pub

AN off-duty policeman's birthday celebrations were dramatically cut short by a break-in - at the pub where he was drinking.Regulars last night compared the scene to a Hollywood movie after the masked thief made a dramatic exit through a first floor glass window of the Norton Dog, near Bury St Edmunds, as he was chased by pub regulars - including three off-duty officers.

AN off-duty policeman's birthday celebrations were dramatically cut short by an attempted break-in - at the pub where he was drinking.

Regulars last night compared the scene to a Hollywood movie after the masked thief made a dramatic exit through a first floor glass window of the Norton Dog, near Bury St Edmunds, as he was chased by pub regulars - including three off-duty officers.

The offender managed to evade capture after threatening one of the officers claiming he was carrying a knife.

Landlord Laurie Wise - who has been running the popular country pub for the last six years - described his shock when a customer spotted a leg dangling from above the front window.


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He said: “It was about 10.30pm and quite a few people were still in the pub, including three off-duty policemen. Someone saw this young lad climbing up onto the pub balcony so we rushed upstairs and managed to corner him in the hallway.

“He knew he had nowhere to go so he turned, rolled up into a ball and crashed through the bottom of a sash window. It was like something out of a Bruce Willis film.”

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Customers below were showered with glass as the bungling burglar clambered down the front of the building. The officers and locals ran after the man but backed off after he threatened his pursuers with a knife.

A Suffolk police spokesman said the force's helicopter was called out to help search for the suspect who described the offender as white, 5ft 9ins tall, in his late teens and dressed in black with a red and white bandana.

“The suspect was last seen heading across fields towards the Tostock and Elmswell area,” the spokesman added.

Mr Wise said he was examining the pub's CCTV footage from the evening and was thankful no one was hurt.

“It's a shame we didn't catch him,” he said. “To try and break in like that at the front of the pub, in full view while the outside lights are on, you have to very brave or very stupid.”

Pub regular James Brady, 24, from nearby Rougham, said: “We had just finished a lovely meal when I heard this loud crash - there was lots of banging and heavy footsteps from upstairs.

“The off-duty policeman at the bar suddenly sprang into on-duty mode. Whoever this crook was, he certainly picked the wrong pub at the wrong time.”

Anyone who has any information about the incident should contact Suffolk police on 01284 774100.

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