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Sheringham lifeboat stalwart slams “despicable” charity box thieves

PUBLISHED: 15:56 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 18:38 20 August 2018

Sheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey at the town's lifeboat station, which was targeted by thieves at the weekend.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey at the town's lifeboat station, which was targeted by thieves at the weekend. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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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.

Tyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex repairing a fire door damaged during a break-in at Sheringham lifeboat station.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLTyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex repairing a fire door damaged during a break-in at Sheringham lifeboat station. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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.

Sheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey showing Tyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex the damage to an upstairs window.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey showing Tyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex the damage to an upstairs window. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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.

The charity boxes, which were emptied by thieves before being abandoned on the beach. 
Photo: SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATIONThe charity boxes, which were emptied by thieves before being abandoned on the beach. Photo: SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATION

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.”

A downstairs door damaged during a break-in at Sheringham lifeboat station. 
Photo: SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATIONA downstairs door damaged during a break-in at Sheringham lifeboat station. Photo: SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATION

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.”

Top left, Sheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey, and below, withTyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex. Top right, the abandoned charity boxes. Pictures: KAREN BETHELL/ SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATIONTop left, Sheringham RNLI senior Deputy Launching Authority Trevor Holsey, and below, withTyler Clarke of RNLI building contractors Apex. Top right, the abandoned charity boxes. Pictures: KAREN BETHELL/ SHERINGHAM LIFEBOAT STATION

Norfolk Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information should contact 101 and quote CAD reference 126 of August 19.

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