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Around £25,000 worth of model trains stolen from containers in Thong Lane, Gravesend

By Sean McPolin

Four model trains worth around £25,000 have been stolen.

The locomotives were taken from The Gravesend Model Marine & Engineering Society, who have a container at Cascades Leisure Centre, in Thong Lane.

An electric engine, tools and equipment, including a lawnmower were also taken after suspects broke through a nearby fence.

Dougie Shaw, 82, had his 'speedy' taken from the containers in Thong Lane. Picture: GMME (7205706)
Dougie Shaw, 82, had his 'speedy' taken from the containers in Thong Lane. Picture: GMME (7205706)

Police are investigating the thefts that took place in the early hours of February 14.

Long-serving member Marion Healey, 83, of Farriers Close, Chalk, said seeing the robbery was "like a bomb had gone off."

She added: "Everyone is just gutted really. I'm still shaking now.

Members from the society standing outside the containers that were put up in 1994. Picture: GMME (7205708)
Members from the society standing outside the containers that were put up in 1994. Picture: GMME (7205708)

"We had a really good year last year, and were hoping we could relax a bit as we're all quite old now.

"This has set us back though and all the hard work will start again.

"We haven't heard from the insurance yet, so don't know if that will cover anything."

One of the model trains that was taken and is worth thousands of pounds. Picture: GMME (7206004)
One of the model trains that was taken and is worth thousands of pounds. Picture: GMME (7206004)

Two of the trains that were taken belonged to members who decided to store them at the club as they couldn't wheel them from their houses to the centre anymore.

The club has more than 60 members.

A fundraising page has been set up after thieves stolen multiple model railway items.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Gravesend local Aaron Elliott to replace the stolen goods.

"An absolute travesty that they should be targeted by thieves." - GoFundMe organiser Aaron Elliott

Posting on the page, he said: "Lots of great family days spent at our local model railway run by Gravesend Model Marine & Engineering Society at Cascades.

"An absolute travesty that they should be targeted by thieves.

"Please help us to raise money and ensure that our community, and Gravesham as a whole, can continue to get the enjoyment from what these brilliant volunteers put on for us."

More than £620 of their £5,000 target has been raised in 24 hours.

Gravesend East Kent County Councillor Diane Marsh (Con) will donate an extra £500 towards providing better security to help them going forwards.

Police spokesman James Walker said: "Police are investigating a report that a number of model trains and tools were stolen from a premises in Thong Lane, Gravesend.

"At present no suspects have been identified but inquiries into the incident are ongoing."

Anyone with information can call Kent Police on 01474 366149 quoting 46/30164/19.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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