£5,000 reward offered to trace Downham Market coin raiders

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A £5,000 reward has been offered in a bid to trace raiders who stole a collection of rare and historic coins in Downham last month.

Detectives believe the haul, which contains pieces dating back as far as the 13th century, may have been sold on following the raid, which happened in early February.

The coins’ owner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had collected them over a period of several decades and described them as being a significant part of his “life’s work.”

He said: “It’s a lifetime’s collection for me. I have been collecting them since I was in my teens. I would say it’s one of the best 10 collections in the country.”

The coins, which were kept in four identical mahogany cabinets with pull-out trays, were stolen during a raid on February 2.

The owner said he believed whoever was responsible had known what they were looking for, as nothing else was taken during the raid.

He said: “There were other things they could have taken. It appears they knew they were there.”

The collection includes a number of rare groat and testoon pieces covering a period of more than 400 years from reigns of Edward I to Charles II.

The stolen items also include 17th century tokens from across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, as well as some early silver pennies.

The owner said he had mostly acquired the coins through attending specialist fairs and some of them would be worth a significant sum of money.

He added: “The condition is paramount. A coin in good condition can be worth twice or three times as much as one in poor condition.”

Police say the cash reward is being offered for information leading to the return of the coins and the arrest, charge and conviction of those responsible for the raid.

Anyone with information about the raid is asked to contact Det Con Chris Parnham, of Lynn CID, via the non-emergency 101 number.

Information can also be passed on by phoning Crimestoppers free on 0800 555111.