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Neighbours alerted police after two men tried to kick open the main front door of the premises at around 4.30am, while a third man broke one of the main window panes.

Although they were unable to break into the shop itself, they managed to take a number of items from the window display before driving off in what was believed to be a red Astra. Police have since been given the licence plate number.

The items taken have a collective retail value of approximately £2000 and include a large Mary Gregory decorated cranberry vase and tumbler, a 19th century walnut humidor box, and an early Victorian walnut and brass decorated dome top.

Anyone with information should contact PC Brian Harris of the Suffolk Police Force, quoting the crime reference number: HH/09/717.

A similar theft also took place on April 15 in the nearby town of Clare.

• POLICE are also looking for items stolen from an apartment in Middleton Stoney, near Bicester. The elderly occupant was unaware as the ornaments were being taken gradually over a period of several months. It appears the thief used a copied key to enter the apartment.

The stolen items include a 6in (15cm) high Meissen figure group of a Chinese woman with two children, modelled by P Reinicke. There is some damage to the tray carried by the child.