The landlady of a Riddings pub has been left deflated and disgusted by the theft of two benches bought as a memorial to a former customer.
Regulars at the Seven Stars pub, on Church Street, had clubbed together to buy the benches in memory of Malcolm ‘Fingers’ following his death in January.
They were unveiled on Saturday, May 26, but at around 7.50am the next morning one of the benches was stolen, with the same thieves apparently returning at around 2.10am on Tuesday, June 5 to take the second one.
Landlady Susan Noonan said: “Everyone is angry and upset, and it’s left me feeling very deflated. I can’t believe we live in a society where people can behave like this.
“It was a big thing for the community and we were in the process of sorting out a memorial plaque for the benches with Malcolm’s sister.”
She added: “I’ve only been here six months, but he was a local lad who had grown up with many of our customers and was a regular in here for years.”
Police have released a image of a group of men seen near the pub at the time of the first theft and would like to speak to them to assist with their inquiries.
Susan said: “I’ve watched the CCTV back and I’m sure it is the same people who have taken both benches. The second time they came in a silver hatchback.
“Someone is going to notice that these two wagon wheel benches have just appeared in their neighbour’s garden.”
Susan has published the CCTV footage on the pub’s Facebook page at https://goo.gl/xVvLro .
Anyone with information should call PC Grant Weller on 101, quoting reference 18000244053 or send him a message online via www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or Susan on 07891 973537.
She said: “We are planning to offer a reward for any information which helps. I want the benches back out of principal more than anything. This is about community spirit and we’re a community pub.”