Police are hunting this real-life ‘Spiderman’ burglar who scaled walls and dangled 30ft in the air on a stuffed SHARK to steal £26,000 worth of jewels.
Officers say the agile thief managed to either climb up the front of an antiques shop or scale down a drainpipe from an adjacent property.
The athletic criminal was then able to clamber over the middle of the exterior wall before balancing on a model shark which was hanging outside.
He then carefully balanced himself on the fake animal – hanging 30ft in the air – and used cutting tools to remove a window pane.
His daring crime also took place at night – when he would have been barely able to see – and he was filmed using a small torch to cut into the glass.
He cut out the small pane – just eight to ten inches wide – and placing it on the sign before slipping through the tight gap.
Once inside Parade Antiques in Plymouth, Devon, he carefully crept over ornaments and statues before slipping down onto the floor by the jewellery cabinets.
He pushed cameras away so they couldn’t see him, moved so slowly the alarm system was not triggered and then made off with £26,000 worth of jewellery
Unfortunately despite his agility the thief – dubbed ‘Spiderman’ by police – forgot to put on a mask and was caught by one infra red camera.
A spokesman for the shop said: ”He was like a cat burglar – a cool, calculating character. He’s taken quite a risk.
“I think he was stealing to order. The CCTV footage shows him looking at certain items, making calls and taking photos.
“We said in the shop after viewing the CCTV, he’s got a B plus for effort, but a D minus for not putting on a mask. He obviously forgot about one of the security cameras.
”The way he got into the shop is incredible. He’s scaled walls and even balanced on a plastic shark. He’s more agile than Spiderman.”
A police spokesman added: ”He’s certainly an agile guy – climbing all over the walls and windows like Spiderman.
”But unlike Spiderman he forgot to put on a mask and someone must know him.”
The thief struck between 10.30pm and 11.30pm on Sunday and police say he may have also cased the store the week before, sizing up the most valuable items and locations of security cameras.
Detective Constable Carrie Newton, said CCTV footage taken from the store on August 27 shows a man taking great interest in a number of cabinets which held a variety of jewellery.
At one stage he was seen photographing items on his mobile phone and inspecting locks.
An infra-red camera – the only one he failed to redirect while breaking in – also caught a similar looking man, breaking into the cabinets with a claw hammer.
DC Newton said: ”Hundreds of pieces have been taken – rings, necklaces, broaches. The latest estimate is about £26,000 although that figure is rising as owners work out what’s missing.
”While we cannot be absolutely sure it’s the same man, it’s very likely the man who entered on August 27 is the same as the one who burgled it on September 5.”
Shop worker Keith Rogers, said: ”There’s about 40 cabinets in that part of the shop, but he only targeted six. He then chose high-value items, taking some but leaving others.”
One item stolen was an 18 to 22 carat gold pendant worth £7,500 with emeralds and diamonds, made from an Indian headdress broach circa 1880.
Lynne Bonnet, 62 from Plympton, estimates she has personally lost between £10,000 and £20,000 of jewellery which she had on sale in the shop.
She said: ”We’ve been collecting for around 25 years. They’re all one-offs, old and unique – that’s what we pride ourselves on.
”They can’t be replaced. We’ve no insurance – we’ve lost the lot. Some of the stuff is mine personally, so I might get something back. But the rest, we’ve lost forever.”
The man was described as slim, with dark hair and a small tuft of hair under his lower lip.
He wore trainers with reflective strips, a zip-up hooded jacket, black gloves and carried a holdall.