Man left 'penniless' after £75,000 of memorabilia is stolen from shed in Waltham
THIS man is "gutted" after thieves stole his collection of musical and automotive memorabilia – worth up to £75,000 – which he planned to sell to fund his retirement.
Former joiner Ron Shaw, 66, says he has been left "penniless" by the crime, describing his huge hoard, built up over 35 years, as his pension fund.
The collection, valued between £30,000 and £75,000, included guitars, jukeboxes, amplifiers and classic car spares, and was taken just weeks into his retirement.
It was stolen from a shed in Cheapside, Waltham, where Mr Shaw has stored the items for the past seven years, sometime during January.
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It is believed the culprits made several visits to the shed. Only a few items have been left behind.
None of the memorabilia is insured, as Mr Shaw, from Humberston, could not get cover for the building because of its asbestos roof.
He said: "I am gutted; that was my pension fund. It has cleared me out completely and I'm penniless now."
He discovered the theft after visiting the shed with his son on Monday, February 4, and is now appealing to members of the public to help reunite him with his possessions.
After retiring at the end of last year, Mr Shaw had planned to sell some of the items to fund his retirement.
"I valued the collection at about £30,000, but a friend of mine who is a valuer for an auction house said it was more like £75,000," he said.
"I had bought a chalet on Humberston Fitties which I planned to renovate and live the good life. I have worked all my life and never scrounged, but now I'm going to be living off benefits."
Others items were of huge sentimental value, among them a record of the Dire Straits single Romeo And Juliet, the favourite song of a former girlfriend.
A light blue Ford Anglia 105E, which he was restoring, an acoustic guitar which may have belonged to singer Joe Cocker, and an amplifier which once belonged to Ronnie Lane, bass guitarist with 1970s rock band The Faces, were also taken.
Referring to the recent death of a friend and fellow collector who died from Weil's disease – an infection carried by rat's urine which enters the body through cuts and scrapes – Mr Shaw added: "A rat finished him off and it's rats that have finished me off."
A Humberside Police spokesman confirmed an investigation is taking place. Anyone with information is asked to contact them on 101, quoting crime number 1956193, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.