Alert over fish and shellfish alert –

Alert over fish and shellfish alert Published:  13 March, 2009

SEAFOOD traders and restaurants along the East Coast have been put on alert following a high value theft of fish and shellfish.

Two days ago thieves broke into the cold store near Whitburn, County Durham on South Tyneside owned by the award winning Latimer’s Seafood Deli.

It is believed they forced entry to the cold store before making off with a large quantity of fish which included expensive varieties like lemon sole, bass, tuna, scallops, cod fillets and king crab meat, worth more than £3,000.

Northumbria Police believe the thieves may try to offer the fish to restaurants or to seafood suppliers in the area – or indeed anywhere along the East Coast from Edinburgh to the Humber.

With restaurants badly hit by the economic downturn police believe that some owners may be tempted to ‘turn a blind eye’ if they are offered cut price fish. The deli owner Bob Latimer said that because the fish was in boxes a large vehicle was used to get the haul away from the cold store. Latimer’s Deli is renowned among food experts for the quality of its fish and has won a number of accolades including the Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards in 2007.

A Northumbria police spokesman said: ‘Anyone who witnessed or has any information on the incident is asked to contact police on 03456 043 043 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Anyone who is offered such items for sale is also asked to contact police immediately.’