Norwich crime: Mile Cross plumber targeted 14 times

5:18pm Aug 9, 2022

A municipal plumber has been attacked by thieves so many times that he’s now used to having his equipment and supplies stolen.

Clive Smith of Shorncliffe Avenue in Mile Cross had his storage garage broken into 14 times in two years.

The 70-year-old of C Smith and Son Plumbing stores equipment and materials in his Hansard Close garage – a few minutes’ walk from his home – but has been wary of what he leaves behind for the past few years for fear of it being nabbed by opportunistic thieves.

Clive Smith of C Smith and Son Plumbing based in Mile Cross, Norwich
– Credit: Darren Smith

In the last spate, copper pipes and special commercial fittings – which can cost up to £300 but are only a pound worth of scrap – were snatched from the storage unit, which Clive believes were taken as they are easy to shift.

“I try not to keep anything too valuable in there now,” explained Mr Smith, who has lived in Mile Cross for more than 40 years.

“But I work in plumbing and heating.

“They always seem to know it’s my garage. There are copper pipes and fittings – over the years I’ve had them taken away from me.

“I also had electrical equipment, drills – all sorts of things have disappeared.

“This has been going on for some time.

“The police came here so often that I got to know them.

The garage at Hansard Close, Mile Cross has been attacked on several occasions over the past two years

The garage at Hansard Close, Mile Cross has been attacked on several occasions over the past two years
– Credit: Darren Smith

“I feel so used to it.

“I feel numb now that I’ve been attacked so many times.”

Mr Smith has been in the plumbing and heating industry for over 50 years and his small independent business mainly serves commercial buildings such as schools.

This time of year – when facilities like schools are closed for the summer – Clive and his team are at their busiest making sure the buildings’ plumbing systems are working properly ahead of the next school year.

He added that other workshops in his strip of workshops were attacked, and he suspects the same opportunists are targeting Hansard Close each time.

Norfolk Police have been contacted for comment.

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