Komodo dragon statue stolen in Stedham

The stolen komodo dragon statue'CONTRIBUTED PICTURE
The stolen komodo dragon statue'CONTRIBUTED PICTURE
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A SYMBOL of Frack Free Sussex was stolen in Stedham.

George Bertram, from Graffham, paid £200 for a statue of two komodo dragons from Malaysia.

Having restored it, he intended the wooden carving to be a symbol of protest against fracking, but thieves swooped and stole the 60kg statue from outside his workshop at Stedham Saw Mills.

“It was a narrow window of time,” he said of the theft, which happened between 8pm and 8.35pm on Sunday, September 1.

“This was a display piece which I bought to use as a mascot for the Frack Free Sussex movement at the Fernhurst protection site.”

As well as the statue, thieves made off with costume jewellery, designer table lamps from India and Morocco and a laptop.

The total value of items was between £1,000 and £1,500.

Mr Bertram was on Ebay when he spotted the Malaysian statue, and realised he could transform it into a mascot .

“These are exactly what we’re being asked to just accept,” he said of the dragons

He described the legendary bite of a komodo dragon as being akin to fracking, in that the person bitten initially felt fine, however as time passed they began to feel the effects.

As well as restoring the statue, he incorporated a design of a poison apple, which he said helped reflect fracking’s risks.

“The first bite might be good but it leaves a dangerous aftertaste,” he said.

As part of his work on the statue, he took a picture of the two komodo dragons in front of a sign reading: “Trust Us! Let us frack you!”

Mr Bertram was one of the first protesters to gather at Balcombe, in the face of energy company Cuadrilla’s bid to drill an exploratory well there.

He described fracking as ‘blindly embarking on what could be the most devastating destruction of the beautiful British landscape’.

Anyone who has any information about the whereabouts of the statue or any of the other stolen items should call 101, quoting serial number 505 of September 4.