MYSTERY surrounds the disappearance of an outside dining table and chair set which vanished from a popular Dover pub.
Revellers were left shocked by the sudden disappearance of the brown garden furniture from outside The Castle Inn on Russell Street.
Castle Inn landlord Paul McMullan was shocked to find his outdoor furniture stolen from his Dover pub
Punters were outside enjoying the sunshine when a 20 minute downpour forced them to retreat inside with their pints.
But when one drinker nipped outside for a cigarette when the rain had gone, he was amazed to find the £600 dining set missing.
Landlord Paul McMullan, 45, told the Express: "I thought I was going mad, one minute the usual street furniture was there arranged nicely right outside and the next it had gone.
"It is not as it was light – the teak chairs were really heavy, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
"I was just dumbstruck."
The Castle Inn now has no outside furniture for punters to relax on and Mr McMullan has called the disappearance last Wednesday as "one of the most brazen thefts ever reported in Dover".
Both he and a group of customers scoured the surrounding area for the table and chairs but failed to locate them.
To add insult to injury, Mr McMullan, a former tabloid journalist, only recently paid Dover District Council £200 for a license to have street furniture outside his business.
He added: "I have the right to have outside furniture but I don't have any to put out there.
"The rain literally lasted 20 minutes and in that time someone has pinched my tables and chairs.
"It couldn't have been one person – the furniture is really heavy."
Mr McMullan has contacted the police about the theft and is urging anyone with information about the incident to get in touch with the police.
The stolen items include a bench, three teak, slated folding chairs and two tables for visitors to enjoy a pint outside in the sunshine.
Mr McMullan can be contacted on 01304 202108
(Reproduced from ThisIsKent, 28th April)
Gardien Comment: Sadly most pubs find it necessary to cable together outside furniture and also perhaps use a ground anchor to tie down a main piece. Property marking will also help to deter theft and/or ease recovery - see http://www.garden-security.co.uk/SelectaMark-Property-Marking.aspx