Watch the moment rare books worth more than £65,000 - including first edition Harry Potter - are stolen from family business in Thetford
PUBLISHED: 17:55 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:51 17 January 2018
Rare and valuable books worth more than £65,000 - including a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - have been stolen from a family-run business.
The books belonged to Thetford-based SN Books, a second-hand online book retailers, and were set to be used to help the small company grow.
A set of four first editions of Winnie the Pooh in a black custom box worth around £5,000 and a hardcover first edition of The Hobbit from 1937 worth around £7,000 were some of the other well-known books which were taken during the burglary.
The two suspects gained entry into the back of the premises on Napier Place overnight on January 8 and 9 by damaging a shutter window. They were inside for 26 minutes.
The SN Books general manager Josh Laffar said the burglary had hit the business - which has 14 staff members - hard.
“The books were company assets,” he said. “These books were to help go towards pay rises and to help build the company. With them going there will be no pay rises and the company is going to struggle to move forward.
“It puts us on the back foot as we are only a small business.”
He added morale had “gone down massively” among the close staff and that everybody was worried about their jobs.
The business, which has been running for nine years, has CCTV footage obtained from various businesses which shows the actions of the two suspects.
One of the suspects is described as being around 5ft 9in and between 18 to 20 stone. The other is thin and around 6ft 1in.
Both are white and were wearing grey hooded tracksuits and are believed to be driving a car similar to a Silver BMW E36 from 1998/2000.
Andrew Taylor, manager at Voewood Rare Books, said although there are rarer books, titles such as Harry Potter will be more valued as they are “exciting”.
He said: “There are books out there which will be rarer and more scare but because they are such famous books they are going to have a much greater value monetary wise and there is something more exciting about them to the general public.”
Anyone with information should contact PC Weigelt-Holmes at Thetford Police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The stolen books:
• Hardcover Bloomsbury first edition of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in a red custom box, worth around £40,000.
• Hardcover signed first edition of Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett worth around £9,000.
• Set of four first editions of Winnie the Pooh in a black custom box worth around £5,000.
• Hardcover first edition of The Hobbit from 1937 worth around £7,000.
• First impression of The Great Gatsby from 1925 in a dark blue custom case worth around £2,000.
• Paperback copy of Brief History of Time from 1983 with a thumbprint signature by Stephen Hawking.
• Two first editions of the Gunslinger by Stephen King worth around £2,000 each.
• Sketchbook from the 1820s/1840s by an unknown artist including pencil and water colour sketches.
Timeline of the burglary created from CCTV footage obtained:
8.27pm - the suspects’ car drives around the back of the SN Books warehouse.
11.46pm - the two men are on foot and walks towards Napier Place down Stephenson way in the direction of Multiyork.
11.52pm - seen again at the back of the warehouse and at 12am walk away down to Stephenson Way.
12.17am - on foot they walk back towards Napier Place and break in where they spent 26 minutes inside the building.
12.50am - again on foot they walk away from Napier Place towards Multiyork.
1.17am - the car drives from the direction of Multiyork and parks at the end of Napier Place where they sit for seven minutes.
1.24am - both suspects walk towards the back of the warehouse and at 1.26am they load up the car.
1.28am - drive to Kimm’s Belt onto London Road but direction is not known.