Thieves 'using chainsaws' to steal valuable antique post boxes in rural Suffolk

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Traditional post boxes are being stolen in rural areas by thieves hoping to sell them on as antiques.

Seven post boxes in remote areas of Suffolk have been taken in around 10 days, said police, who said thieves could be using chainsaws or angle-grinders to cut them free.

Officers said there was a pattern of heritage-style post boxes being targeted, with the incidents being treated as linked.

Sgt Brian Calver from Suffolk Police's rural crime and wildlife team, said: "We know that these are quite valuable and attractive for their antique/collectible resale value, but we are keeping an open mind in that they could be going for their scrap metal value as well.

"What is definite is that such thefts are a big loss of heritage and identity to the village from where they are stolen from.

"There is also the personal disruption such a theft could cause to individuals who have posted important letters and documents and that, as a consequence, are then sadly lost."

A hole left where the post box was pulled from the ground. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The first theft was on 7 January in Rickinghall, with subsequent thefts in Wixoe, Cowlinge, Hawkedon, Stoke By Clare, Chedburgh and Depden Green.

A force spokesman said: "The theft is either achieved by cutting them from their mounting metal or wood post but, also possibly, by using angle grinders and chainsaws."

Officers are asking for anyone who has been offered a post box for sale to contact them and for people to be vigilant of suspicious activity and noise, especially at night.