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Published: 12:00, 13 November 2019
| Updated: 12:39, 13 November 2019
Hands up who took the coffee shop clock!
The back-to-front time-piece which had pride of place in the Mad Hatter's Tea Room in Sittingbourne High Street has been stolen.
And in a strange twist, it has been replaced with another 'normal' version.
Stunned Sally Reeve, who owns Bailey's Coffee Shop, said: "When the upstairs room was painted by muralist Dean Tweedy we bought a back-to-front clock which has been a great favourite with customers and their children who often refer to it as 'magic'.
"Despite looking odd, it was very easy to read as there is a mirror on the opposite wall."
Then last Monday one of her customers was seen tapping and shaking it.
She admitted: "I thought it probably needed a new battery so I didn't think much more about it."
Then on Thursday the customer returned for a morning cuppa and left with the clock.
Shocked staff noticed the clock had gone and had been replaced by a "very ordinary, large, ugly one."
Sally said: "We know exactly who the culprit is. One of my staff saw him and asked him about the clock. He admitted taking it but said it wasn't theft because the clock was useless and he had replaced it.
"Although I am angry, I can't help but laugh at the madness of the whole event."
Over the years the cafe has had toilet rolls, pens, sugar sachets and newspapers stolen but Sally said: "This is on a whole new level. I have reported it to the police but I don't think it will rank very high on their priorities."
Police confirmed they had received a report of time being taken between 9.55am and 11.30am on Thursday.
A spokesman said: "It is reported the item, which is unusual and described as being a ‘backwards running clock’ was stolen and replaced with another. Enquiries are ongoing."
It is not known if the thief will end up doing time once he is caught or if Sally will have to summon Time Lord Doctor Who to sort out the mess.
Anyone with information should call police on 01795 419119 quoting reference 46/214129/19.
More by this authorJohn Nurden