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Defibrillator theft “could cause an unnecessary death,” says parish council chairman

PUBLISHED: 09:53 23 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:53 23 December 2017

The damage caused to the village centre. Picture: Brian Swan

The damage caused to the village centre. Picture: Brian Swan

Archant

The selfish actions of one burglar could potentially cost somebody their life.

The defibrillator mounting.
Picture: Brian Swan The defibrillator mounting. Picture: Brian Swan

This is the message from the chairman of a parish council, after its village centre had its defibrillator stolen in an overnight raid.

At some point between 9.30pm on Wednesday and 8am on Thursday, the New Road Sport and Leisure Centre in Belton, near Great Yarmouth, was broken into, with the suspect leaving destruction in his wake.

The suspect clambered onto the roof, smashing tiles and damaging the hall, before making off with the centre’s defibrillator.

Now, as the cost of the damage is being assessed, Peter Nichols, Belton and Browston Parish Council chairman, has condemned the actions of the offender.

He said: “The damage can be repaired easily, but the theft of the defibrillator could mean an unnecessary death because of the selfish actions of this person.

“We are still waiting for the full cost of the damage, but it is already looking like it will cost comfortably more than £2,000.”

Mr Nichols said discovering 
the aftermath of the break-in 
was “a big shock”, particularly when taking into account the security measures they had in place.

He said: “The place is well secured, we have mental fencing around the outside and we have CCTV cameras, so somebody must have really wanted to get in.

“It is very frustrating indeed. The person must have been looking for things to steal, as they even unwrapped the display presents which were underneath the Christmas tree - only to find that they were just empty boxes.”

The suspect also caused damage to a CCTV monitor and the centre’s Internet router, as they ransacked the building.

Mr Nichols added: “Since the incident, we have had an excellent response from our community. A builder came forward quite quickly to put a temporary fix on the roof and will finish the repairs after Christmas.”

From CCTV footage, Mr Nichols described the suspect as a tall man in his late 20s, who was wearing a fur-lined hooded jumper and flip flops.

Anybody with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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