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Police appeal after attempted digger theft on seafront

PUBLISHED: 11:29 17 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:29 17 June 2020

Aerial view of the Marina Centre site in Great Yarmouth. May 2020. The site has been targeted by a break-in thief who ran off when confronted by security Picture: Ben Oram

Aerial view of the Marina Centre site in Great Yarmouth. May 2020. The site has been targeted by a break-in thief who ran off when confronted by security Picture: Ben Oram

Ben Oram

Police are hunting a man who tried to steal a digger on Great Yarmouth seafront and ran off across the beach.

A man wearing a straw hat ran off across the beach after he was found by security sitting in a digger inside the Marina Centre demolition compound having broken in Picture: Adam HardiingA man wearing a straw hat ran off across the beach after he was found by security sitting in a digger inside the Marina Centre demolition compound having broken in Picture: Adam Hardiing

The incident happened at around 1am on Tuesday June 16 at the site of the former Marina Centre leisure complex which has been demolished.

The man broke into the site and was found inside the digger by security and fled the scene.

MORE: Going, going, nearly gone - The demolition of seafront leisure centre in pictures

A spokesman confirmed the attempted theft had been reported.

A statement said: “The incident happened in the early hours of yesterday (June 16) between 1am and 1.10am at the Marina Centre site on Marine Parade.

Part of the building falls as machinery is at work demolishing the Marina Centre at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPart of the building falls as machinery is at work demolishing the Marina Centre at Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“A man was seen to enter the fenced site before getting into a digger – security found the man inside the digger cab and he fled the scene, running across the beach.

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“Nothing was stolen.”

The man was described as white, in his 30s, wearing a red vest, blue jeans and a straw hat.

A man wearing a straw hat ran off across the beach after he was found by security sitting in a digger inside the Marina Centre demolition compound having broken in Picture: Adam HardiingA man wearing a straw hat ran off across the beach after he was found by security sitting in a digger inside the Marina Centre demolition compound having broken in Picture: Adam Hardiing

Adam Harding of Phoenix Events (East), the security firm patrolling the site, said it was likely there were more people involved in the break-in, given the weight of the heavy fencing.

He added the man was shouting as he ran off.

Wrecking teams moved in on the Golden Mile site earlier this year and the iconic centre has now been flattened.

Work on a new £26m complex with water flumes is due to start this summer.

Anyone with information which could help police should contact officers in Great Yarmouth on 101 quoting crime reference 36/39197/20.

MORE: See inside new £26m seafront leisure centre with virtual reality tour


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