Moment thieves brazenly steal restaurant's £400 Nutcracker display

Shocking moment thieves brazenly steal restaurant’s £400 Nutcracker display while diners tuck into their Christmas lunches before fleeing with the statue on a motorbike

This is the shocking moment that two thieves were caught stealing a £400 Christmas Nutcracker from outside a town centre restaurant in broad daylight.

Footage shows the brazen pair driving up to Cafe Nucleus in Rainham, Kent, before fleeing with the 40kg statue on a motorbike.

The owners of the fine dining restaurant said they were ‘hurt and saddened’ that someone would stoop so low to steal a Christmas display which was meant to bring some festive cheer to the community. 

As diners tucked into their Christmas lunches, the daring pair drove down a side road before swiping one of the two Nutcracker statues which was stood on guard at the restaurant entrance.

They were then filmed escaping with the 6ft statue, which was held aloft by the rear rider as the driver recklessly made a getaway by zooming across a mini roundabout and stopping traffic on the busy A2.

The front of Cafe Nucleus, Rainham, showing the Nutcracker statues before the one on the left was stolen by brazen thieves

Shocking footage captured the moment that the rear rider lifted the 40kg statue up as the driver fled the scene

The owners of the fine dining restaurant,  Sergejs Sergejenkovs (left) and Aaron Sergejenkovs,  said they were ‘hurt and saddened’ that someone would stoop so low to steal a Christmas display which was meant to bring some festive cheer to the community

Police have been handed CCTV footage which shows the two thieves in action on Friday lunchtime. 

Although there have been various sightings of the Nutcracker, including at a girls grammar school and other nearby roads, it has yet to be found or returned. 

Multiple customers have also called the restaurant to report sightings of the bike outside a nearby address.

A driver, whose vehicle was almost hit by the culprits as they rode along the High Street, reported his encounter to staff who were blissfully unaware of the drama.

The owner of the restaurant it was stolen from has issued a public plea to get the statue back – and is even considering a reward. 

Aaron Sergejenkovs Telford said it was cheekily named Istvan, after a member of staff, while the remaining one was called Roland.

He has now ordered a £400 replacement but would rather have the original one returned.

He and his partner Sergejs Sergejenkovs only opened the venue in October after a huge £400,000 refurbishment.

Mr Telford said: ‘We’ve been broken into before, but nothing like this.

‘We’d hope that someone has just borrowed it and we won’t let this deter us from doing it again.

‘It is just one of those things, there is always going to be somebody out there who wishes to ruin things, but we are not going to stop doing what we do and doing nice things just because of one little occurrence.

Footage shows the two brazen thieves approaching the fine dining restaurant before grabbing the statue

They then escape the restaurant carrying the statue and make their getaway while diners tuck into their Christmas lunches

CCTV footage catches the pair driving away, leaving behind just one of the £400 Nutcracker statues

Other video shows a different angle of the two thieves plotting their heist, as they mount the pavement to swipe the statue 

They are then seen recklessly driving around the busy Kent road in a desperate bid to get away

At one point, they attempt to cross the mini roundabout while traffic is coming from the right hand side

‘It is very odd. We have called out on social media asking if we can have him back.’

His social media post read: ‘Such a shame today a pair of young gents pinched one of our nutcrackers from outside of Cafe Nucleus Rainham.

‘We have the whole event, including images of the motorcycle and the culprits’ faces, on camera. We really would just like the nutcracker back.

Mr Telford, who also runs other cafes in Chatham and Rochester, added: ‘It’s a shame for us, as we in our other sites through the Medway Towns have never had this.’

One viewer said: ‘That’s so bad! I hope they give it back. Such a shame as nucleus is the highlight of Rainham.’

Another added: ‘When I saw them I wondered how long it would take for them to go missing. So sad that it’s come to that. I hope you get them back.’

And one said: ‘Hope you get them back. Such a shame when a local business can’t do something lovely for its town.’

Meanwhile Lee Rose said: ‘My husband saw them in Nursery Road with it on Friday afternoon.’

And Christabel Hanson also spoke of a sighting, saying: ‘It was by Rainham Girls’ School at 1.15 pm.’

Mr Telford replied: ‘Thank you. We’re on our way to have a look. If anyone is wondering, we named them Roland and Istvan after two much loved and valued members of our team.

Although their have been sightings of the statue, it has not been found yet. Cafe Nucleus owners Aaron Sergejenkovs Telford (left) and Sergejs Sergejenkovs

‘So we very much would like Istvan back.’

Mr Telford, who went to school and used to live in Rainham, and his partner love Christmas, and like to extravagantly decorate all four of their restaurants every year.

He said: ‘As a company we are quite odd and we like to go big for Christmas, we keep our decorations up until the 7th of February.

‘We have Christmas trees outside, Christmas trees all in the garden, the building has got around 60,000 lights draped down it. We go really over the top.

‘It is important for us to go really big out here in Medway so that we can show people you don’t need to go to London to get that Christmassy feeling.’

A spokesperson for Kent Police added: ‘Kent Police received a report of a theft of a decorative Christmas statue outside a shop in Rainham High Street at 1.35pm on Friday, December 8. Enquiries are ongoing.’ 

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