Sheringham lifeboat stalwart slams “despicable” charity box thieves
PUBLISHED: 15:56 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 20 August 2018
A RNLI volunteer with more than 50 years’ experience as a crew member and onshore co-ordinator has slammed “despicable” thieves, who broke in to Sheringham lifeboat station at the weekend, causing up to £3,000 of damage.
Trevor Holsey, who is senior Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) at the beachfront station, was one of the first on the scene after the break-in.
“Everything was locked up at 4pm on Saturday, but, when our helmsman Dave Hagon came to open the station at 8am the following morning, he discovered we’d been broken in to and phoned me,” Mr Holsey explained.
After forcing open an upstairs window leading to a training room, the thieves appear to have realised they were not able to access the rest of the building, so climbed a fire escape on the side of the station and smashed the frame of a double-locking door before prizing it open.
They also smashed the window of a door leading to a downstairs crew room and damaged another interior door near the station gift shop, before making off with two 4ft-tall collection boxes, which they emptied, before abandoning on the beach.
Mr Holsey, who was a crew member for nearly 30 years before taking on the job of DLA after retiring as second coxswain in 1992, estimated the boxes contained up to £600.
“We had just had our lifeboat day and we get a lot of visitors coming through the station who support us,” he said. “I was absolutely gutted, but it isn’t just the cost of the damage and the cash, we are now having to look at having new security measures like CCTV or grills on the windows to stop this from happening again in the future.”
Mr Holsey, 75, praised police, who were on the scene within 45 minutes, and appealed to anyone with information about the break-in to come forward.
“For anyone to smash open a fire door, they would have had to have some pretty decent tools, so we think it may have been planned,” he said. “And although, luckily, the boat wasn’t damaged and we are still fully operational, I think it is a disgusting thing to do, the lowest of the low.”
Norfolk Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information should contact 101 and quote CAD reference 126 of August 19.