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Early last week a smartly dressed man, believed to be Italian and standing around 5ft 6in tall, entered an antiques shop in Folkestone. He wore a long dark grey cashmere overcoat and a striped scarf.

Having spent some time looking around the shop he declared to the owner his intention to spend between £2000-3000. A price of £1000 was agreed on an oil painting of a Dieppe fisherwoman, while he subsequently opened cabinets removing items of silver, porcelain and ivory he said he wished to purchase.

In total he was in the shop for three quarters of an hour before telling the owner he would need to go back to his car to fetch the money. When he failed to return, the owner noticed that several small items of stock had gone missing.

Folkestone Police were contacted. The crime reference number is 17-07-533.