A BOAT has been left without a sail after a part was stolen during a train journey.
British Transport Police (BTP) officers are investigating the theft of a suitcase from a train en route after it left Kings Cross for Sunderland on at 1.48pm on Sunday, 27 July.
The steel mast heel casting, used to attach a mast to a small private sailing boat Blithe Spirit, was inside a suitcase belonging to Fred Dove, 67, from Sunderland.
Pc Kay Moran, investigating the theft, said: “Mr Dove boarded the train in London and put his suitcase and a carrier bag in the space between the seats.
“When the service arrived in Sunderland, both the bag and suitcase were gone.
“He is desperate to have the suitcase returned as it contained a piece of equipment for his boat.
“He is in the process of trying to find a replacement for the heel casting, which connects the mast to the boat.”
Officers are appealing for help in tracing the suitcase and heel casting.
They have released a hand-drawn sketch of the item and a photograph of a suitcase similar to the one stolen, although it had a blue ribbon tied to the handle.
Pc Moran added: “The heel casting is of little monetary value on its own and I doubt is of any practical use to the thief. “I would urge whoever took it to get in touch, so the item can be returned. “The victim is very upset about this loss as his great passion for sailing has been hampered.
“I’d urge anyone with information of its whereabouts to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference PSUB/B10 of 29/08/2014.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.