A street magician and children’s entertainer was left distraught when a drunk threw his magic horseshoes puzzle into the River Wear.
It happened shortly after 2.15pm on Saturday, October 1, as 73-year-old Alfred Hill was on Framwelgate Bridge in Durham City performing for passers-by.
A crowd of revellers, who had been celebrating a birthday, approached Mr Hill and he asked one if he could try to remove a steel ring from the chain between the horseshoes.
But, instead of playing along, the man swore at Mr Hill and threw the metal puzzle into the river.
Alfred, a former postman, was left in tears as he bought the item 20 years ago at a convention and it was of great sentimental value.
PC Jayne Marshall, of Durham Constabulary, who released the CCTV image of the incident, said the man was thought to be in his 30s, and smartly dressed in a blazer.
It is a heavy item so I am hoping it has just sunkPC Jayne Marshall
She has also arranged for divers from Northumbria Police’s marine unit to carry out a training exercise in the river to see if they can find the horseshoes puzzle.
She said: “It is a heavy item so I am hoping it has just sunk and gone straight down where it was thrown in.”
Anyone with information about the man responsible can call police on 101.
Alfred has bought a replacement horseshoe puzzle so he can carry on entertaining.