A business has appealed for information after a heartless thief swiped a ‘silent soldier’ – then made his getaway by bicycle.
The ‘Tommy’ had been outside the Ives and Shand funeral business in Poole, Dorset.
The five feet high silhouette made from metal was taken at 3:48am on Friday 1st November.
CCTV footage from the business, part of Dorset’s Douch Family Funeral Directors, shows the brazen thief making off with the soldier over his shoulder.
He then walks into Ashley Road where he mounts his bicycle and pedals off, clutching the Tommy.
Marcella McDonagh, funeral director at the branch, said: “We bought the soldier last year to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.
“People very much liked the fact we were doing our bit to remember those lost, and we had only just brought him out again for this year’s remembrance.
“To see him stolen was awful – especially considering that we are coming up to Remembrance Day.
“When we viewed the CCTV we saw exactly what had happened – the man had a good look at it before going away then returning and making off with it across the road.
“He then got on a bicycle and pedalled off – it was such an unusual sight that we hope someone will come forward and identify the person.
“The CCTV shows that cars and pedestrians were in the vicinity at the time, despite the hour.
“We would very much like to have our Tommy back.”
The suspect was wearing a coat and a rucksack and looks to be in his thirties. As he prepared to take the soldier he can be seen putting gloves on. Police have been informed.
Note to editors: Douch Family Funeral Directors have been helping families with funeral arrangements for over 100 years. Branches include Douch & Small, A E Jolliffe & Son, Albert Marsh, James Smith, Ives & Shand and Lesley Shand Funeral Service. They’re based in Ferndown, Wareham, Poole, Upton, Wimborne, Swanage, Corfe Mullen and Blandford.
Editor’s Note: For more information please contact: Ed Baker, Deep South Media, on 01202 534487, or Ed Baker on 07788392965.