POLICE have released this CCTV image of a man they want to find in connection with the theft of rings worth £2,400 from an antiques store.
The seven gold and opal rings were stolen from Emsworth Antiques on West Street at around 4.30pm on September 21 – details have only just been revealed by police.
Hilary Bolt, who has owned the store for three years, is working with police to track down the culprit.
She told The News: ‘We know this sort of thing goes on.
‘There are people who intend to steal and it’s very important for everyone to co-operate as much as possible to stop it happening.
‘You are always going to get minor pilferage and we need to get the message across that these things do happen.
‘The police are very happy with what the CCTV footage shows.
‘We have co-operated with the police before in catching people who have attempted theft and they have been caught as a result.
‘We hope it will be the same with this incident.’
She added that the store would continue to be vigilant in the future. Police say the man had grey hair and wore blue jeans, a blue jacket, and wore a light-coloured shirt.
Phyl Hudson, owner of Tiffins Antiques in nearby Queen Street for 23 years, said she was forced to close part of her shop after a spate of thefts. She said: ‘I have had rings stolen in the past and it doesn’t make you happy.
‘There is very little one can do about it – they are so artful with the way they work. It’s very sad because I have had to close my middle room and use the front of the shop because we don’t dare leave people in there on their own. It doesn’t matter how smart they look – they can be perfectly amiable people. It’s very unfortunate but that’s life now.’
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact PC Megan Edwards at Waterlooville police station on 101.