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Gallery owner gutted after raider nets handmade work

Malvern Editorial 25th Sep, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

AN INDEPENDENT trader has hit out at heartless shoplifters after her store was targeted twice in a week and £600 worth of unique jewellery was stolen.

Anna Brook, who owns Iapetus Gallery in Great Malvern, said she was ‘gutted’ when she realised six distinctive bangles had been taken last Monday (September 15).

The pieces were sample products and the first in a new range from an artist who had agreed to supply the jewellery exclusively to the Belle Vue Terrace shop.

The silver bangles are worth about £100 each and are engraved with sentimental mottos. Some also have encrusted gems and all of them bear the artist’s distinctive ‘F.A.B’ signature mark. 

Anna said: “I was gutted particularly because it was items from this specific range, which have got to be hand-made all over again. It is really annoying.

“I have got to go back to the artist now and tell her, which I am not looking forward to. They are just trying to make a living and pay the mortgage and these thieves have probably never worked a day in their life and think they have a right to take things.

“They have no moral compass and would steal from their own grandmother. It upsets us all and hurts everybody.”

The first incident happened at 2.24pm last Monday and the suspect was captured clearly on CCTV footage. He is a white man, about six foot tall, believed to be in his early to mid 20s, has short brown hair, of skinny build and has stained teeth. He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, dark tracksuit bottoms and a black beanie hat.

Anna said the same man came into the shop again on Thursday (September 18) only this time with someone else. The accomplice tried to distract staff who called the police immediately and the two left moments later.

Anna branded the pair ‘stupid’ for not realising the store had CCTV even though at point one of the men appeared to look directly at it.

She said thankfully Iapetus invested heavily in the equipment three years ago following a large theft. Both incidents last week were caught on the store cameras and the footage has been handed to officers.

Police launched Operation Blast in Malvern on Monday (September 22) to crack down on shoplifting in the town’s shopping areas.

Anna said she had been visited by officers three times already this week adding it was ‘incredibly reassuring’ the issue was been treated seriously.

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