Ap­peal after theft of hippo sculp­ture

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Uk & World News -

THE pub­lic have been urged to “keep their eyes open” after a large metal hip­popota­mus weigh­ing the best part of a tonne was stolen from a gar­den statue busi­ness.

The two me­tre-long cast bronze sculp­ture was taken from Chil­stone, near Tun­bridge Wells, some time be­tween 5.30pm on Wed­nes­day and 7am the fol­low­ing day, Kent Po­lice said.

The thieves, who broke into the busi­ness’s show gar­dens, would have needed a large ve­hi­cle and pos­si­bly a winch to steal the “hugely dis­tinc­tive ob­ject”, PC Nick Ling­ham said.

The hippo is “ex­tremely heavy” and has re­quired the strength of five peo­ple to lift it pre­vi­ously, he added, urg­ing peo­ple to “keep their eyes open and re­port any­thing sus­pi­cious”.

PC Ling­ham went on: “It is clear those re­spon­si­ble would have needed a large ve­hi­cle such as a flatbed truck and may have also needed to lift it by me­chan­i­cal means.

“It is a hugely dis­tinc­tive ob­ject and it is un­likely the of­fend­ers will find it that easy to sell on as scrap or to a col­lec­tor. We are hop­ing peo­ple may have seen it be­ing trans­ported.”

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