Reward offer as thieves steal trawler models from shop

Ian Atherton at the Bernie Atherton Carpets store
Ian Atherton at the Bernie Atherton Carpets store
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A Fleetwood shop owner is offering a reward after models reflecting the port’s proud heritage were stolen from his window.

Thieves broke into Bernie Atherton Carpets in Dock Street earlier this month, swiping scale models of three fishing trawlers.

Ian Atherton, who runs the carpet business is desperate to get the collection back and is calling on anybody with information about the missing boats to contact police.

Three models, of the Lady Jade, Lady Jasmine and Boston Blenhim were taken in the raid on June 1.

Ian said: “They have got into the shop through the side door.

“They’ve smashed the glass and got in.

“We have models of six Fleetwood trawlers. They reflect the heritage of the town. This was a fishing port and we were proud to display the models. People do stop and look at them as they pass.

“Three of them are gone and we want them back.

“We’ve got computers and all sorts of other things in the back but they didn’t take any of that, just the models.”

Mr Atherton was gifted part of the collection having originally offered to buy the boats, having seen them in a home he visited.

He said: “I remember thinking my dad would love them, he was really proud of working in a fishing port.

“About 10 years later the man’s son came round saying his father had died and he wanted Mr Atherton to have the boats.

“We got them in return for a donation to the RNLI.

“These were models of boats people from Fleetwood sailed on, they are irreplacable.”

Mr Atherton launched an online appeal following the burglary and his plea has been shared more than 30,000 times.

In response the businessman, who took over the carpet firm from his father a decade-ago, has now decided to offer some form of reward.

Final details of what wil be offered have not yet been decided.

Police have yet to identify anyone in connection with the theft.

A spokesman said: “We were called to commercial premises in Dock Street just before 9am on June 2.

“It appears that at some time betwen 5.15pm on June 1 and 8.15am on June 2 somebody has entered the premises.

“They have removed a window from a side door and stolen three large model boats.”

Anyone with information should call 101 quoting reference WD1703455.