The great train robbery: Thomas the Tank Engine's friend stolen from garden centre

Bournemouth Echo: SAD: Susie Stewart, right, together with staff from Stewarts and Thomas the Tank Engine SAD: Susie Stewart, right, together with staff from Stewarts and Thomas the Tank Engine

HEARTLESS thieves have targeted Santa’s grotto to steal a two feet long shiny electric train.

The brazen crooks walked out of Stewarts Gardenlands in Christchurch with one of two Thomas the Tank Engine trains which have been entertaining children in the grotto in the run-up to Christmas.

James, a bright red engine, has a carriage with a coal skuttle and Christmas manager Susie Stewart said the engine must have been difficult to hide.

“It is far too big to have been concealed in a bag or pocket or underneath a coat,” she said. “I think it must have been put underneath a pram or a pushchair.”

Susie said elves working in the grotto discovered James was missing at closing time on Friday December 6.

“At first they thought he must have been knocked off the tracks accidentally by a child,” said Susie.

“When they looked for him they realised he had been stolen – everyone who works in the grotto is gutted that someone has done this. I never thought in a million years that someone would steal from a grotto.”

Stewarts’ grotto is one of the most popular in the area with hundreds of children through its doors every year. The centre also had real reindeer to delight visiting youngsters.

Police have been informed of the theft and anyone with information about James’ whereabouts is asked to call Dorset Police on 101 or the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.

Comments (13)

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7:42am Tue 10 Dec 13

the_baron1 says...

Was it the Fat Controller?
Was it the Fat Controller? the_baron1

8:08am Tue 10 Dec 13

smhinto says...

Yet another gripping, thumping, barnstormer of a read.
Yet another gripping, thumping, barnstormer of a read. smhinto

8:17am Tue 10 Dec 13

djd says...

The Great Train Robbery repeated.
The Great Train Robbery repeated. djd

9:10am Tue 10 Dec 13

hooplaa says...

nice jumper mate! - Another top story from Bournemouth's finest rag!
nice jumper mate! - Another top story from Bournemouth's finest rag! hooplaa

9:13am Tue 10 Dec 13

BIGTONE says...

Skuttle?
Come along Jane!

You have to be well careful these days of the thieves.
They will steal your soiled pants with no hesitation.
Skuttle? Come along Jane! You have to be well careful these days of the thieves. They will steal your soiled pants with no hesitation. BIGTONE

10:19am Tue 10 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

Is this not actually the small locomotive robbery?
Is this not actually the small locomotive robbery? speedy231278

12:43pm Tue 10 Dec 13

spooki says...

Yes it's very funny. What about the kids (and parents) who enjoy seeing the train! My 3yr old loves watching Thomas go round their display. Some people will steal ANYTHING. SHAME ON YOU.
Yes it's very funny. What about the kids (and parents) who enjoy seeing the train! My 3yr old loves watching Thomas go round their display. Some people will steal ANYTHING. SHAME ON YOU. spooki

12:51pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Bournemouth Ohec says...

Stop prefixing the word thief with heartless.
Stop prefixing the word thief with heartless. Bournemouth Ohec

1:03pm Tue 10 Dec 13

burgerboy says...

the_baron1 wrote:
Was it the Fat Controller?
That's no way to talk about the Christmas manager...........
[quote][p][bold]the_baron1[/bold] wrote: Was it the Fat Controller?[/p][/quote]That's no way to talk about the Christmas manager........... burgerboy

4:09pm Tue 10 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

isn't it "a two foot long..." rather than "a two feet long..." ?
isn't it "a two foot long..." rather than "a two feet long..." ? speedy231278

12:01am Wed 11 Dec 13

pete woodley says...

Great advertising again.
Great advertising again. pete woodley

7:40am Wed 11 Dec 13

Tripod says...

The guy on the left looks a bit suspicious, that Beard is definitely false!
The guy on the left looks a bit suspicious, that Beard is definitely false! Tripod

8:15am Wed 11 Dec 13

nickynoodah says...

some folk are generous still you know
walked past dean court this morning Santa out side gave me 3 points
said they were giving three points to every body till the end of the season
HO HO HO happy xmas george
some folk are generous still you know walked past dean court this morning Santa out side gave me 3 points said they were giving three points to every body till the end of the season HO HO HO happy xmas george nickynoodah

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