Appeal after theft of one-tonne bell buoy feature

Council bosses are appealing for help to find thieves who stole a one-tonne bell buoy feature from the town's Central Estate.

Monday, 22nd January 2018, 1:51 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 1:55 pm
The stolen bell buoy

The buoy – which is made of gun metal and stood about five feet high suspended from a steel frame – was taken some time between last Saturday night and Sunday morning from its location at the corner of Cleveland Road and West View Road.

The piece was one of several maritime objects installed around the Central Estate about 15 years ago to reflect the area’s shipbuilding history.

Coun Dave Hunter, chairman of the Council’s Neighbourhood Services Committee, said: "This is a despicable theft – the buoy has stood there for years as an unusual, eye-catching landmark and a proud echo of Hartlepool’s shipbuilding heritage.

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"It’s clear from the marks on the ground that someone with a large vehicle dragged the buoy backwards from its base onto the neighbouring field, smashing a fence in the process, and then loaded it onto the vehicle and took it away.

"It’s a very large and heavy item and we’re appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious to please contact the police."