Published: 13:54, 24 January 2021
| Updated: 14:22, 24 January 2021
The owners of a pub and kitchen have been left gutted after thieves stole their huge shark head.
It had been placed outside The Bedford in the High Street, Tunbridge Wells as a fun way of directing people to a takeaway service operating from the pub's kitchen.
Since the pub's tweet on the theft, people have suggested the 'long arm of the jaw' needs to catch up with those responsible.
Chef Shahin Shakourof, who owns The Kitchen@ The Bedford, said the sign which had been happily in place for nearly three weeks, was a way of lifting spirits in lockdown.
He said: "The shark had a sign in its mouth saying 'Are you hungry' and that was a way of directing people to our takeway service.
"We put it outside at 11.15 on Thursday and by midday it had gone.
"It was huge. If you were going to pick it up you'd need to hug it to move it and it would probably be a two-man job."
The shark belongs to pub landlords Avelina and Steven Hood and had been lovingly kept from the days Mr Hood ran a business selling statues and figures used in films and cartoons.
The shark used to proudly stand on the couple's garden shed and became a local talking point when the pair lived in Hawkenbury. Neighbours had asked the couple if it could stay when they were in the process of moving house and it had even become a reference on geocaching apps.
Mrs Hood said: "We're just really disappointed it could be taken on a bright sunny day in the middle of the day.
"We were trying to give a boost to the business and thought it would make the High Street a bit less depressing. We didn't chain it up - we didn't think anyone would come along and take it.
"It's not the sort of thing you could just casually steal.You'd need a very large boot or possibly a van to get it in. It was about 70-80cm high and not a toy. It needed a repaint, so it's probably worth about £200, but could go up to £500 if it was repaired and repainted."
The couple have reported the theft to police but have been told there are issues with retrieving images from a nearby CCTV camera.
They hope anyone who may have information about the theft will contact The Bedford on 01892 578538. Meanwhile they are combing through eBay and FaceBay to see if it's offered for sale.
The Bedford runs a window service from Thursday-Sunday for takeaway meals and orders can also be placed via Deliveroo and Just Eat.