Police hunt �40k train jewellery thief

DETECTIVES are hunting a thief who hit the jackpot when stealing a wealthy woman's jewellery and luggage valued at �40,000.

Colin Adwent

DETECTIVES are hunting a thief who hit the jackpot when stealing a wealthy woman's jewellery and luggage valued at �40,000.

The opportunist theft occurred at Stowmarket shortly after a Liverpool Street to Norwich express train pulled into the railway station.

The victim lost high-class jewellery worth �35,000 when her �800 suitcase was snatched from on board.

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Two of the most expensive items, a �15,000 diamond bracelet and an �8,000 pair of gold and diamond cluster earrings, were specially commissioned. They were made, circa the 1930s, by top London jewellers SJ Phillips of New Bond Street.

British Transport police are appealing for the public's help in their bid to retrieve the jewellery and catch the thief.

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Detective constable Alan Reed, of the BTP, said: “These items are unique and of great sentimental value. They are not items which would be generally available for sale and it would be difficult for someone to sell them without drawing attention to themselves.

“They may have been offered in suspicious circumstances and we would be keen for any information in relation to them.”

The owner had checked her silver-handled Tumi suitcase was safely stowed away in the luggage rack, when the train stopped at Colchester and Ipswich stations.

However, when she arrived in Norwich she discovered the case had gone.

The theft was traced back to Stowmarket railway station where a guard recalled having to hit the emergency stop button as the train was pulling away around 6.10pm on Friday, November 20.

A man was trying to get back on the train and told staff he had left his luggage aboard. It is believed he was seen leaving the platform with the Tumi suitcase.

In addition to the bracelet and earrings, the case also contained made-to-order diamond and white clip-on earrings with detachable drops worth �8,000.

There was also a �2,000 pair of Cartier small gold and diamond hoops, five long strands of pearls totalling �1,500, a pair of Eriksson Beamon black earrings worth �150, and a �180 leather jeweller roll.

Other items inside the case included an �850 Dolce & Gabbana jacket and a �520 pair of brown suede Prada boots.

The thief is believed to be white, aged in his late 50s, around 5ft 8in tall, of skinny build and an unkempt appearance. He also had a greying goatee beard.

Anyone who may have witnessed the theft, or has information about the whereabouts of the jewellery, should telephone the BTP on 0800 405040 (quoting B12/December 1) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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