Reader Colin, who's on holiday here in the Millionaires' Playground, writes:
I looked out of my room yesterday morning to see a number of police officers crawling over a white van which had had its windows smashed. They seemed to be particularly interested in the contents of the van and were searching the surrounding area. I took this snap. Any clues as to what was going on?
Er, no Colin. But there has been a great deal of police activity in these parts since the dreadful robbery/assault on Clarendon House student Sam Eastwell in Albion Place last week. Another reader who was out and about last night writes:
Last night myself and some friends were making our way in a taxi from Broadstairs to Ramsgate when we were stopped along Victoria Parade not once but twice by hi-vis clad police officers asking if we had seen anything suspicious on the night of August 6/7 as apparently there had been a 'burglary' in that area. We said our usual 'No officers, we were at home asleep in bed at that time, honest!' and continued on our merry way and ended up at the Belgian Bar.
The night wore on and I decided to head on home with my friends in tow. When we reached the top of the stairs by Madiera Walk we were stopped once again by a group of police officers, one or two in Reebok jackets! Each asking whether we had seen anything on the night of Wednesday 6 August as there had been an assault. It occurs to me, why spend a week doing nothing before taking action on a crime by randomly stopping people THREE TIMES and asking incredibly vague questions, why have two VERY different stories as to what had happened on the evening of august 6/7 and why start asking questions in the middle of the night? Altogether there were (approximately estimated by my 'I'm sober, honest I've only had one shandy!' friend) about 15 police cars, 6 vans and 25 individual officers all just standing around chatting and chewing gum.
There is an ongoing police operation in the area involving, apparently, 70 of Kent's finest, some of whom will presumably as a matter of course be on gum-chewing and standing around duties. However, 17 year old Sam is still critically ill in hospital and has yet to regain consciousness. The cops say the assault could be linked to two other robberies, the first in Newington Road on Wednesday evening and the second in Victoria Parade less than an hour before the Albion Place incident. A watch, mobile phones and cash were among the items stolen.
The suspects in the Victoria Parade incident are described as white, aged about 18 or 19, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft, both slim, but one heavier built than the other. One was wearing a yellow and grey striped hooded top and dark jogging bottoms. The other was wearing a white or light-coloured hooded top and dark bottoms.
Unfortunately that description narrows it down to any of around ten thousand youths here in Ramsgate, but the message is the police are clearly desperate to nick these violent and dangerous offenders. So, if you have any information contact police on 01843 231055 or Kent Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
Click here for more on Thanet Extra website
Update: Two teenage boys have now been arrested in connection with this incident. Click here to read more.