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Man charged over coastal crime spree

PUBLISHED: 16:06 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:01 13 July 2010

PolICE were this week continuing an investigation into a crime spree involving 80 break-ins across Norfolk which saw caravan parks the length of the county's coastline on high alert and caravan owners anxious about becoming next in the long line of victims.

PolICE were this week continuing an investigation into a crime spree involving 80 break-ins across Norfolk which saw caravan parks the length of the county's coastline on high alert and caravan owners anxious about becoming next in the long line of victims.

Up to 70 police officers, police community support officers, special constables and the Norfolk force's specialist tactical unit have been taking part in a major manhunt in recent weeks.

The effort resulted in a man being arrested on Sunday in Stiffkey, near Wells.

“It is an astronomical number of offences,” said Chief Insp Steve Jones.

“The suspect will also be seen by Suffolk officers in the coming days to discuss a similar number of offences there.

“We have been chasing him for a period of time. The operation has been made difficult by the fact it was often hard to work out when a particular offence took place because people will, for instance, secure their caravan at the end of the summer and not revisit it until early the next summer.”

Chief Insp Jones said once it was clear there was a link between offences, parks were contacted and warned. Security checks were carried out more often and posters put up.

“It appears someone was breaking in, eating any food, drinking any drink and sometimes sleeping in the caravans overnight,” said Chief Insp Jones.

“The thefts created a lot of anxiety and stress for the owners and left a trail of destruction which has also needed the involvement of insurance companies.”

Chief Insp Jones said the series of thefts would create a spike in the crime figures for north Norfolk, but it was a spike which could be explained.

On Tuesday, Geoffrey Cave, 55, of no fixed address, appeared before magistrates in Yarmouth charged with going equipped for burglary on June 29 in Blakeney by possessing two screwdrivers and a blunt metal spike; burglary with intent to steal on June 18 at a building called Seadrift in Happisburgh; and burgling a caravan in Waxham on June 14 and stealing bottles of alcohol.

Cave entered no plea and was remanded into police custody until tomorrow.

Cave, who is alleged to have broken into the caravans over a period four months, was not represented in court and made no opposition to being remanded into police custody.

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