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Armed robber targets two businesses in one night

B&Q, Reeves Way, Whitstable Credit: Kent Police

An armed robber who targeted a Whitstable bookmakers after stealing an expensive set of drills from a DIY superstore and assaulting a member of staff has been sentenced. In November 2013 Ricky Loft entered the B&Q store in Reeves Way and picked up three drills.

The 32 year-old attempted to leave the store without paying for them. When staff gave chase whilst a colleague called the police. But as two members of staff caught up with Loft he lashed out - swinging the heavy drill cases at them, striking one employee in the head.

Just over an hour later, Loft entered the William Hill bookmakers in Tankerton Road.He was carrying a black bag, covering an object. He held it in such a way that staff at the shop believed was armed with a gun. He threatened staff before demanding they fill a drawstring bag with cash.

William Hill Bookmakers, Tankerton Road, Whitstable Credit: Kent Police

Through CCTV footage and mobile phone data, detectives soon realised Loft was responsible for the theft of the drills and robbery. He was arrested in the London area. But on 11 April 2014 Loft was sentenced to 10 years after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

Body of a man found in burning shed near Whitstable

The fire service were called to Whitstable following reports of a shed fire Credit: Sonja Weed

An investigation is underway after the body of a man was discovered in a burning shed near Whitstable. Firefighters were called to Dargate Road in Yorkletts this morning to reports of a shed alight.

The man is believed to be aged in his late 70s. The incident is not currently being treated as suspicious.

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Royal couple visit Whitstable RNLI

RNLI lifeboat attending rescue
RNLI crew attending to call-out in Whitstable Credit: RNLI

Prince Charles and Camilla found themselves in the middle of a rescue launch at Whitstable RNLI.

The royal couple visited the Lifeboat station on its 50th anniversary as part of their appearance at the Oyster festival.

The Thames coastguard received a 999 call from a yacht with a broken down engine minutes before Princes Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were visiting.

During the visit, Charles and Camilla were introduced to some of the lifeboat team as well as the crew when they returned from the rescue.

RNLI rescue
RNLI crew attend to broken down yacht Credit: RNLI

Oyster festival underway ahead of royal visit

catch of oysters at the start of the Oyster Festival in Whitstable, Kent. Credit: Press Association Images

The Whitstable Oyster Festival got underway today with hundreds of people sampling the town's most famous export. The festival lasts for seven days and organisers will greet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on Monday during a visit to the harbour in Kent.

The festival has been running since 1985, but the cultivation of oysters in the area began during the Roman occupation.

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Business is booming as the hot weather continues

Temperatures have continued to rise this weekend, reaching almost thirty degrees centigrade in parts of the South. And with the warmer weather comes a boom in businesses for some of our coastal resorts. Andrea Thomas has been to one town in Kent to gauge the 'sunshine effect'.

She spoke to Derick West, a retired fisherman, Brian Hitcham from the Whitstable & District Chamber of Commerce and some very happy day-trippers.

Man missing from ferry - police appeal

Richard Fearnside Credit: Kent Police

An appeal has been made for a Whitstable area man reported missing after travelling on a Channel ferry.

Richard Fearnside, 30, was last seen on the P&O Pride of Kent ferry crossing from Calais to Dover.

The alarm was raised while passengers and vehicles were disembarking from the ferry, after it docked in Dover early on Tuesday, May 21st.

The ferry was searched but there was no sign of Richard.

Mr Fearnside is described as white, slim, 5ft 8in with short, cropped, mousey coloured hair. When last seen he was wearing a black hooded top, blue t shirt, blue jeans and black and white trainers.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to contact Det Sgnt Richard Lown on 101.

Confusion in town where homes have six bins each

A new recycling scheme is causing some confusion in Kent. Homeowners in Whitstable now have six different types of dustbin to take away their waste.

The high number of bins is part of a recycling initiative. Although collections take place on Tuesday, different materials are emptied each week.

The local authority said it is trying to stop useful waste that can be recycled being sent to landfill sites. However the new way of doing things is causing some confusion for residents.

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